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by Jim Conmy

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Fixed Income Services

Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) closed a chapter in its history on August 20, with the official decommissioning of its long-running “green screens.” Now, the monitoring and reporting of all government securities trades has been moved entirely over to FICC’s Real-Time Trade Matching (RTTM) Web Front End.

While a majority of FICC customers have been viewing and reporting their trades via RTTM Web Front End over the last year, a few firms had continued to rely on the increasingly outmoded Virtual Memory System – or VMS – screens to monitor trading activity.

“The green screens were originally built to provide a real-time front-end to enter and monitor activity at FICC,” said Melanie Sterman, DTCC director, Fixed Income Clearance and Settlement. “While they still worked, they weren’t user-friendly. And today, Web technology has made the green screens an anachronism, as well as a redundant technology that was expensive to support.”

More than two decades’ old

For more than two decades, participant personnel used the legacy green screens to observe and enter trades and activity at FICC. “Because many people who had mastered the old screen technology and commands were reluctant to give them up,” Sterman noted, “we produced a variety of training aides to help customers make the changeover to the RTTM Web Front End, and gave firms more than a year to make this transition.”

FICC published a user guide for its Web Front End and simultaneously rolled out a series of Internet screen-based simulations showing firms how to enter trade data and affirm trades using the Internet to access RTTM in 2009.

“Once firms realized how easy the RTTM Web Front End is to learn and use, they were pleased to make the change-over,” noted Elke Jakubowski, DTCC vice president, Fixed Income Clearance and Settlement. @