Eight of the world's largest investment banks will Monday launch their most ambitious assault on Bloomberg's grip on daily communications in financial markets with the start of free viral messaging service.
Markit, the U.K. data provider, will operate an industry-wide central directory switchboard to connect the messaging systems of Thomson Reuters, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and interdealer broker GFI Group.
Instant messaging on private networks has become one of the principal ways participants in financial markets swap the daily information that drive trading.
Trails of incriminating messages played a central role in the cases brought against financial institutions by U.S. and U.K. authorities for attempted manipulation of Libor, the interest rate benchmark.
Yet most systems operate independently. The move to connect up the fragmented market of separate chat messaging systems into a free viral community comes as financial services companies increasingly explore ways to share ever-rising IT costs and compliance requirements.
"This is about helping our customers find new counterparties and unearth new business opportunities whilst reducing complexity," said David Craig, president of Financial and Risk at Thomson Reuters.