Call for Proposals
The Need for More Development in a Common Financial Language

The SWIFT Institute invites proposals for research on areas for further development on a common financial services language; a financial equivalent of the periodic table if you will.

The financial markets have little in the way of a common language for communicating financial information. Many banks have different in-house languages for each product line. This creates risks seen in the financial crisis whereby few banks have the necessary information to aggregate their exposures to counterparties.

There are, however, moves toward a common financial language. Recent regulation including the Dodd-Frank Act in the US and EMIR (European Markets Infrastructure Regulation) in Europe both call for common data standards. The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is one example of a new step in the right direction, by creating an identifier to effectively name the counterparties to a financial transaction.

A common language is expected to benefit financial markets by improving risk management within and across firms; lowering the barriers to entry for new participants; and a much more effective mapping of the financial world. The questions are, to what extent and how do we get there?

TOPICS: Research proposals on further development of a common language can be theoretical or empirical. The focus of the research could look at the following (other suggestions are welcome)
- Quantification of the potential gains from the adoption of a common language
- What is needed in order to arrive at a common financial language?
- What already exists today and how do they fit into an overall common language?
- What is missing?
- What can the financial industry learn from other industries?

GRANT & WORKING PAPER: A grant of EUR 15,000 will be awarded to the author of the selected proposal. 50% will be paid immediately; the remaining 50% will be paid on submission of a working paper following the research.

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Please submit your research proposal as follows:
1. CV/bio including education, work history, research experience, publications, etc.
2. Description of your research project (2,500 words maximum) to include the following:
- Objective of your research
- Methods by which you intend to undertake your research
- Timeframe by which you intend to complete your research
3. By email in MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint format, and/or pdf.

Deadline: Proposals must be submitted no later than 24 September, 2012

Email: Send submissions to:

Posted 9/17/12