New EPN platform leverages Application Programming Interface (API) technology to support evolving client needs.
DTCC Connection spoke with Vance Howard, DTCC Director, Product Management Clearing Services, about the enhancements to the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation’s (FICC) Electronic Pool Notification (EPN) platform, and how they create efficiencies for clients as part of the mortgage-backed securities pool notification process.
DC: Let’s start with the basics. What’s the EPN service?
VH: The Electronic Pool Notification (EPN) service is offered through FICC’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (MBSD). It is the industry standard for agency mortgage-backed securities pool notification. For background, the majority of mortgage-backed securities trades submitted to FICC are traded on a “to-be-announced” (TBA) basis. Members use the EPN service to inform their counterparties of the specific mortgage pools that will be delivered to satisfy the trades.
DC: Tell us more about the firms that use EPN?
VH: EPN is used by more than 150 members of our MBSD, including broker/dealers, commercial banks, investment companies, trust companies, and mutual funds. In 2020, EPN volume increased by 104% compared to 2019, in part due to a decrease in interest rates.
DC: Tell us about the service’s new API capability.
VH: APIs are playing an increasingly important role in the future of financial services technology, as they give clients better flexibility to leverage DTCC’s technology to suit their own needs. That’s why we’ve made the EPN platform available within the DTCC API Marketplace.
DTCC’s API Marketplace, which launched last year, is an online “App Store”, allowing direct programmatic access to DTCC processing functionality and including comprehensive documentation and training materials to help developers use the APIs.
DC: What other enhancements have you made to EPN?
VH: The EPN platform has been enhanced to support DTCC’s Message Queue (MQ) technology, enabling clients to communicate directly with DTCC within an improved real-time interface. The MQ technology is available for cross-platform adoption, allowing clients to utilize a common interface across DTCC services including EPN and the Real-Time Trade Matching Service (RTTM), an electronic platform for collecting and matching fixed income securities data. These enhancements help reduce risk for the mortgage-backed securities industry by offering an improved user experience that supports faster workflows and more efficient communication.