Billions in operational costs and fees across the securities-trade industry could be saved, as the adoption of the unique transaction identifier, the UTI, is picking up. This is stated in a fresh 13-page paper by financial-messaging coordinator SWIFT, who is positive about the speed of the adoption that has started.

“The identifier will be embedded within the post- trade services of several market infrastructures to begin with. This started at the end of 2021, and more market infrastructures are expected to embed it as well over time,” SWIFT writes in its paper, titled “Solving the post-trade transparency challenge – The case for a unique transaction identifier in securities”.

Now getting as good as pizza

While a web-order for a pizza can often be tracked through its life-cycle phases, the same has not been the case so far for the world’s securities trades. With the current introduction, however, SWIFT hopes it will help bring down the proportion of settlement fails which it estimates to be about 5–10 percent for equities trades and 2–4 percent for bond trades.


“While an initial investment is required by financial institutions, the working group also envisages significant benefits, including:
– 50% reduction in the number of pre-settlement matching and timing exceptions that require active investigation with a counterparty
– 90% reduction in the number of matching or timing fails,” SWIFT predicts.

In the organization’s own words, the current report “sets out the roadmap for industry-wide adoption of a unique transaction identifier (UTI) – based on the existing ISO 23897:2020 – that would allow market participants to track securities transactions from end to end throughout the lifecycle of a trade”.