Bloomberg Symbology accepted by FINRA for regulatory reporting

First Published 20th March 2012

FINRA's TRACE accepts open & free-use methodology for naming securities

New York - Bloomberg executives have announced that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent regulator for securities firms doing business in the United States, now recognizes Bloomberg Open Symbology (BSYM) for its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE).

Bloomberg Open Symbology, or BSYM, gives financial firms, exchanges and data providers an alternative to using proprietary naming conventions, which typically come with costly and restrictive license agreements.

"Firms often have to license several proprietary symbologies in order to manage trading operations in multiple markets and across asset classes," said Peter Warms, head of Bloomberg's Open Symbology group. "BSYM is a robust, open and free-use alternative to proprietary libraries. Its ongoing adoption reflects the industry's desire to maximize market connectivity and transparency, while facing the need to reduce costs."

Broker-dealers that are registered with FINRA are required by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to report trades of corporate bonds and securitized products to the TRACE system in a mandated timeframe. The reportable bond-universe tracked by TRACE increased significantly in 2011 when it started accepting data related to asset and mortgage backed securities in addition to corporate and agency bond information.

The centrepiece of Bloomberg Open Symbology is the Bloomberg Global Identifier (BBGID), a 12-digit alphanumeric identifier that covers more than 75 million active and inactive securities. It is available free of licensing fees, restrictions or commercial terms and uses a standard methodology across all asset classes. A BBGID is assigned upon security set-up on the Bloomberg Professional® service, and once assigned it is non-changing and unique to the listing level. While Bloomberg's market data and trading applications use BSYM, the methodology can be used for any purpose and incorporated into any vendor's system now, and in the future.

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