So how was the first day of MiFID II for the DSB?

I have been asked this question so many times over the past day and a half, that I thought I would write a short summary for anyone who is curious.

Firstly, I should point out that we would not have been in a state of readiness on the 3rd of January without the tremendous support of industry in Q4 of 2017 in defining the OTC-ISINs and in seeding the DSB database. Over 2.2 million OTC-ISINs were created last year (you can find the statistics on my Linked-In article).

So how did our system, perfect in Q4 2017, perform when faced with the MiFID II trigger? Well, it took a moment to get its footing.

In the early hours of the first day of MiFID II, our infrastructure was hit with a tremendous load as large numbers of users connected simultaneously. This caused the first serious glitch during the operation of the production system since it was brought online in early October. As the system overload was apparent, we quickly performed the necessary scaling up of capacity (modern, cloud-based systems do have their benefits!) and the system recovered in phases.

After that, the day settled into a steady operational rhythm of generating OTC-ISINs, retrieving existing ISINs, and performing searches across ISINs as automated and web-based queries poured in. The DSB staff took a breath, and set to answering hundreds of queries from users, regulators and others that poured in that day!

Operational Statistics

Volume of messages processed

  • 452,677 messages were processed by the ISIN Engine
  • of which 327,595 were ISIN creation requests
  • of which 132,255 resulted in new ISINs (the rest mainly resulting in existing ISINs being returned)

System performance

  • 2,000 messages per minute processed at peak, some of which were for large scale searches across the entire 2 million OTC-ISIN universe
  • 50% of messages processed in <100ms
  • 99% of messages processed in <1,000ms (963ms to be precise)

What’s Next

As noted above, the effort of industry participants in 2017, who put in huge amounts of time and intellectual capital, was essential to the readiness of the DSB. Looking forward to 2018, we very much hope to continue our engagement with industry to meet their evolving needs.

Our immediate focus is on a series of operational matters, including:

  • On-boarding of additional products
  • Streamlining of processes, for example, on the management of proprietary indices and the challenge process for the identification of invalid ISINs
  • Establishing a Technology Advisory Committee to provide industry guidance on the future technical direction of the DSB

I hope this information has provided a window into the DSB MiFID II day. We’re looking forward to the next stage in the evolution of the DSB, with the help of industry.

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