Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011

XBRL US today announced that the Corporate Actions Taxonomy, which can be used to report corporate actions announcements and events, has been finalized and is available for use.The taxonomy is a collection of data tags that are aligned with elements of the ISO 20022 global corporate actions standard.It was developed as part of the Issuer to Investor: Corporate Actions initiative, a collaborative industry effort sponsored by DTCC, SWIFT and XBRL US that uses standards to streamline the communication between issuers and investors.

Corporate actions are publicly traded company events such as mergers, dividends, stock splits and other events that may require an action to be taken by an investor or financial shareholder. The Corporate Actions Taxonomy has 550 base elements, in contrast to the US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy used by public companies today for SEC reporting, which has more than 18,000 elements. The Corporate Actions Taxonomy covers 94 types of corporate action events.

Today’s corporate actions processing requires public company issuers to submit text-formatted documents such as news releases and regulatory filings for each corporate action which are then interpreted and rekeyed by stock markets, issuer agents and data intermediaries before the time-sensitive information is available to shareholders. The Corporate Actions Taxonomy standardizes this free-form text into electronic documents that can be used by issuers to ensure written words hold the same meaning for all parties throughout the corporate actions lifecycle.Having issuers electronically tag corporate actions data in XBRL allows it to be delivered straight from the issuer to the investor without rekeying or interpretation through multiple interfaces.

“The goal all along has been to make it easy and inexpensive for issuers to identify and tag key data as they prepare documents for a corporate action,” said Donald F. Donahue, president and CEO of DTCC. “Completion of the corporate actions taxonomy represents a significant milestone in this undertaking and moves us a step closer to straight-through-processing. As we move ahead on this initiative, we look forward to demonstrating how XBRL helps reduce risk, boost efficiencies and cut cost in corporate actions processing.”

In conjunction with this initiative, Citi is working with XBRL US on a pilot program to demonstrate the costs and benefits of using XBRL in the corporate actions processing of dividend payment announcements for American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). XBRL US revised the taxonomy based on input from Citi’s technology group on various corporate action notices. The pilot program will help determine the feasibility of moving to XBRL processing and its impact on downstream consumption of XBRL data. Forty XBRL-formatted dividend announcements have been created through that pilot program. To support the downstream corporate actions flows from the depository to custodians, DTCC is now running a pilot over SWIFT using new ISO 20022 corporate actions messages. The pilot includes a handful of custodians and is expected to run through November 2011.

“The market demands greater clarity of information”, said Chris Church, Chief Executive, Americas and Global Head of Securities, SWIFT. “XBRL, coupled with ISO 20022, will enable a seamless flow of information across the corporate actions lifecycle resulting in increased transparency, lower costs, less risk and better informed decisions by investors. The key to success is issuer adoption, but through awareness campaigns and industry support, we hope to move the issuer community in that direction.”

According to Alan Smith, Managing Director, Securities and Fund Services at Citi, “Citi’s participation in the XBRL US pilot program is just part of our commitment to industry-leading technology. XBRL for Corporate Actions provides a streamlined process that can help mitigate operational risk while reducing costs, and we feel that this can be a very valuable tool for our clients.”

A business case describing the impact of XBRL on the corporate actions process has been published and is available at: (http://xbrl.us/i2i/pages/businesscase.aspx). The Corporate Actions Taxonomy can be downloaded and viewed at (http://xbrl.us/taxonomies/Pages/2011corpactions.aspx).

About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

About DTCC
DTCC, through its subsidiaries, provides clearance, settlement and information services for equities, corporate and municipal bonds, government and mortgage-backed securities, money market instruments and over-the-counter derivatives. In addition, DTCC is a leading processor of mutual funds and insurance transactions, linking funds and carriers with their distribution networks. DTCC’s depository provides custody and asset servicing for more than 3.6 million securities issues from the United States and 121 other countries and territories, valued at US$36.5 trillion. In 2010, DTCC settled more than US$1.66 quadrillion in securities transactions. DTCC has operating and data facilities in multiple locations in the United States and overseas. For more information on DTCC, visit www.dtcc.com.

About SWIFT
SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 9,700 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 209 countries. We enable our users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. We also create the connections and standards that make markets work across the globe. We bring together the world’s financial institutions, promoting dialogue and helping to solve common industry problems. And we combine a uniquely informed perspective with the flexibility to respond to the individual needs of every customer. For more information, visit www.swift.com.

About XBRL US
XBRL US is the non-profit consortium for XBRL business reporting standards in the U.S. and it represents the business information supply chain. Its mission is to support the implementation of XBRL business reporting standards through the development of taxonomies for use by U.S. public and private sectors, with a goal of interoperability between sectors, and by promoting XBRL adoption through marketplace collaboration. XBRL US has developed taxonomies for U.S. GAAP, credit rating and mutual fund reporting under contract with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is developing a taxonomy for corporate actions. For more information, go to xbrl.us.

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