S.W.I.F.T. and FIX Protocol Limited (FPL) today announced that they are working with eight leading European Exchanges to define standards to harmonize access to the Pan European virtual blue chip market, planned to go live in November 2000. The European Exchanges who are involved include Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Madrid, Paris and Zurich. While the recent mergers between some of these exchanges may reduce the numbers of parties involved, their CEO’s are committed to supporting this initiative and explicitly endorse the FIX-S.W.I.F.T. collaboration. The initial output will be a Common Interface Specification for trade orders and notice of executions based on current FIX 4.2 Protocol specification. FPL is providing the technical expertise surrounding the business flows, whilst S.W.I.F.T. is providing their standard expertise and methodologies to facilitate and expedite the development process. All the business elements will be added to the ISO 15022 Data Field Dictionary, for which S.W.I.F.T. is the Registration Authority. Functionally equivalent S.W.I.F.T. messages will also be provided within the Common Interface Specification. Direct collaboration between S.W.I.F.T. and FPL will give rise to convergence and interoperability of message standards. The initiative will also result in the common deployment of the ISO 15022 Data Filed Dictionary, which will pave the way towards straight through processing as both protocols adopt XML. F.I.X., the Financial Information eXchange, is a messaging protocol, which is the de facto standard for pre trade and trade messaging in the global equity markets. FIX is administered by FIX Protocol Limited, whose members are exclusively drawn from the Investment Management and Broker Dealer communities globally. FPL is committed to promulgating standards in order to achieve the industry’s goal of Straight through processing. As part of this aim FPL has developed an XML grammar for FIX. www.swift.com