Financial securities trading

CFI codes go online.

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Clare  Naden
Clare Naden
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The trade of financial securities globally depends on a number of reliable codes to ensure secure transactions, one of which is the list of CFI codes (classification of financial instruments), defined in an ISO standard. A new version of the standard has just been published, enabling an electronic list of codes that will support a more robust and agile maintenance process to better meet industry needs.

ISO 10962, Securities and related financial instruments – Classification of financial instruments (CFI) code, is the worldwide reference for the codes used to classify financial instruments such as cash, derivatives or foreign exchange. It was first published in 1997 to meet the need of the financial community to classify financial instruments globally. It was also developed to address issues with obtaining information on securities when trading with different markets and the inability to group securities in a consistent manner.

The CFI codes enable better efficiencies, accuracy and straight-through processing, as well as the discovery, comparison and aggregation of financial instrument data worldwide. They are used by issuers of financial identifiers, by financial services firms to properly identify and classify financial instruments, and by regulators for classification and aggregation.

Corby Dear, Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the standard, said the latest version will revolutionize the industry as it features a machine-readable semantical model of the code lists and their values.

“Not only are the codes now easier to access, but they will allow for more accurate reporting, saving time and reducing errors,” he said. “In addition, we put in a process to communicate change and track the change history of the code set to comply with global banking regulatory requirements.”

The latest version of ISO 10962 will also now be managed by a dedicated Maintenance Agency to ensure the list is always up to date and responsive to industry needs. It is relevant to stock exchanges, banks, brokers, regulatory bodies and any other institution involved in securities.


ISO 10962 was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 68, Financial services, subcommittee SC 8, Reference data for financial services, whose secretariat is held by SNV, ISO’s member for Switzerland. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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