Time of Innovations

8. IT Infrastructure Development

In 2020, the main objective of IT management was to maintain the required factor of accessibility of the information systems critical for business. In order to comply with the requirements for maintaining the reliability factor at the level of 99.98%, in addition to regular maintenance, the package of measures was implemented, including: 

  • replacement of 16 facilities of the server hardware for 2 most loaded systems, i.e. Programbank.ABS and CCP TRS;
  • optimization of the equipment used for the DBMS DB MS SQL Server;
  • migration of Oracle DBMS to version 19 across all systems. In total 22 databases.

Additionally, the independent stress testing of the central counterparty’s trades recording system (hereinafter, CCP TRS) was completed successfully and proved the reliability, susceptibility of the software and hardware suite of the clearing system. Test trade and clearing systems were loaded using the automated software, which generated trades based on preloaded input data. A large number of test trades were generated, which were imported to CCP TRS software and processed, then the processing results were uploaded to Programbank.ABS. The use of the above stress testing technology allowed to complete tests within a short space of time.

The notable result of IT Platform development in 2020 was the fact, that NCC was one of the first in Russia to accession to the initiative called ‘SWIFT Global Payments Innovation’ (GPI), regarding gFIT service — gpi Financial Institution Transfer, under the Early Adopter program. As a part of connection to SWIFT gpi, the software packages of CCP TRS and Programbank.ABS were enhanced, thus allowing to connect to the following SWIFT gpi services:

  • gCCT — gpi Customer Credit Transfer.
  • gFIT — gpi Financial Institution Transfer.

The important innovation project of the year was development of the conceptual risk management architecture of MEORiMa platform, encompassing the analysis and establishment of the system, which completely covered all types of settlements and models used to manage both credit and market risk. Essentially, that paved the way for considerable minimization of time to respond to risk events and real-time risk management – these are the objectives to be attained by the platform under development.

During the reporting period, considerable effort was made to implement the projects: Separation of Trading Participants and Clearing Members on the Securities Market and Stabilization 2.0: Operational Reliability of Clearing. In particular, as a part of the Stabilization 2.0 project, the process of Cash Settlement in CCP TRS was implemented with development of the special functional module, and the SFD market discounting in Navigator XL TCS was created.

Significant work was completed as a part of the Stabilization 3.0: Control System Development. Highly Critical Recommendations project, which encompassed:

  • change in the trade generation technology in Programbank.ABS core system by import from Softwell Navigator. New business processes were developed. Both systems were enhanced and the integration testing was conducted within a short space of time in order to support the above processes. Putting the solution into commercial operation improved control automation;
  • completed reengineering of interfacing of Programbank.ABS and CCP TRS software, as a part of which the improvement was made to prevent occurrence of the risk of unauthorized modification of information by the Clearing Department employees – employees’ personal access to the catalogue for information exchange between the systems was prohibited, the data was exchanged using API systems.

In 2020 NCC, ensuring the technology aspect of SFD market development, performed a substantial amount of work, in particular:

  • all settlement accounts of the SFD market were transferred to the Unified Pool, the process of interest accrual on the collateral as well as interest accrual on the collateral recorded on the settlement account within the Unified Pool was implemented. Hence, transfer of the SFD market to the unified business clearing processes was completed;
  • the margining model on the SFD market was updated – the transition from two-phase calibration to single-phase calibration was completed and the set of risk factors was changed;
  • changes in FINCAD model were developed using the built-in modeling language to support the calibration of new indexes and to assess the metrics of trades therewith (NPV, sensitivity to risk factors), thus allowing to add new products on the SFD market (OIS on indexes SOFR/ESTR/SARON, IRS on RusFar3m);
  • default management on the SFD market was automated — the introduced options included Liquidation Auction and Hedging and Carry-over of Positions;
  • TCS was enhanced to improve settlement of payment flows for 5Y-10Y and to schedule fixings and rates on the individual basis;
  • the functionality of Blotter with Interest Rate Swaps with the range of tickets in SFD TCS was implemented;
  • FIX gateway was deployed for SPFI testbed used by trading participants. Bloomberg provided approval of FIX+FpML protocol format used to handle matched orders received from Bloomberg. The above enhancements enabled the participants to trade on the SFD market using Bloomberg in the common information space.

Other systems of NCC did not remain unaddressed. IT division provided the technology solutions for further development of the Clearing Terminal system used to render the on-exchange service of portability for cash collateral and asset profiles and development of Neoflex Reporting system.

During the reporting period, the capacity to download data on netting trades with liquidity providers was implemented with a view to provide additional control over the limits set for liquidity providers. At the same time, the capability was implemented to provide the Market Risk Department with the latest information on the timely performance/non-performance by the liquidity provider of its obligations to NCC, including OTC gold buy/sell trades, loco London, entered into by the clearing members.

In 2020, upgrade of NCC website was continued, to which end its operational audit was performed, the strategy and further development plan were developed. In addition, adjustments were made with regard to its design, adapation for displaying on mobile devices; the website management system was improved to facilitate its administration.

During the acute phase of the pandemic, NCC had 80% of employees switch to remote working in a short time span (within 2 weeks). At the same time, the fault tolerance and safety of operation of all packages and systems, inter alia, by means of 24/7 technical support, were ensured.

For optimizing work of IT employees of NCC and for mitigating the operational risks, in 2020 the additional algorithms of automated control and monitoring were introduced, namely:          

  • controlling outgoing and incoming RAS reporting. Due to introduction of the above control, reporting files, to be transmitted to the Bank of Russia via the communications channels, were reconciled automatically every day at the close of business. This algorithm helped to avoid incidents, occurring because of the human factor, and system errors, when a fine might be imposed because any reporting file was overlooked and not sent in time due to large document flow;
  • controlling archives containing reports to the fiscal authorities transmitted via the communication channels of Bank of Russia;
  • installing the additional module for collecting statistics, monitoring the reporting transmitted via the communication channels to the Bank of Russia and checking incoming files was completed.
  • the automated regression testing facility using multiple instances of Neoflex Reporting system was introduced.

During the reporting period (as to transformation of NCC), the set of organizational and technical measures was performed:

  • the Committee on Changes was established with a view to control implementation of IT objectives and projects of NCC;
  • technical support was reorganized to be based on the functional principle;
  • functions of budgeting, organization of purchases and settlements with suppliers, process of maintenance of IT contracts were organized within NCC IT.
  • Usage of EXADATA PACK, which was previously used together with Moscow Exchange in Neoflex Reporting system was discontinued. Currently the standard servers and Oracle Database Release 19c are used.
  • the process for implementation of own enhancements of Neoflex Reporting system was built. The full cycle of works, from analytics to putting into commercial operation, was completed for 28 objectives.

Innovative development of IT platform in 2021 will be aimed at the attainment of the following major objectives:

  • establishing the system to manage risks and control SFD market collateral: developing and introducing the methodology and technological platform;
  • arranging access to external trading venues using the developed API for access to SFD TCA. At the same time, there are plans to arrange translation of prices from the SFD market blotters to Bloomberg and in Micex Trade Info;
  • automating calculation of the tax base, tax amount to be transferred to the budget and reports for making trades with nonresidents, in case where NCC is a tax agent.
  • as a pat of Neoflex Reporting system:
    • to implement the Tax Monitoring portal providing online interaction with the Russian Federal Tax Service;
    • to complete automation of all types of tax reporting
    • to automate generation of messages to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring, RFM) in compliance with Federal Law 115-FZ;
  • for further automation of risk management, innovation MEORiMa platform is planned to be established according to the developed conceptual architecture meeting the challenges of high-speed performance and timely processing of large volume of data.