Financial Instruments Reference Data System ('FIRDS') is a data collection infrastructure established by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), in cooperation with the EU competent national authorities (NCAs), in order to collect data in an efficient and harmonised manner.

         
          
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FIRDS will need to cover the entire range of financial instruments that are included in the increased scope of MiFID II.

 

In accomplishing this task, FIRDS will necessitate linking of data feeds between ESMA, NCAs and around 300 trading venues across the European Union.

 

The new framework introduced by Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 and Directive 2014/65/EU requires trading venues and systematic internalisers to provide competent authorities with financial instrument reference data that describe - in a uniform manner - the characteristics of every financial instrument subject to that Directive.

 

Those data are also used for other purposes, for instance for the calculation of transparency and liquidity thresholds as well as for positions reporting of commodity derivatives.

 

                                                    quote                                                                                                   
           
 


Verena Ross, Executive Director at the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), The road to MiFID II – key note speech, City week 2016: "Towards a New Era of Innovation and Competitiveness" – 9 May, 2016, The Kia Oval, London, ESMA/2016/734)


As I hope you will have heard by now, ESMA will provide a central facility in relation to reference and trading data and the calculation of the comprehensive MiFIR transparency parameters. This project has been made possible by the delegation of these tasks by national competent authorities to ESMA and it is the first time that such comprehensive tasks have been delegated to a European Supervisory Authority. Work on this major project, which requires ESMA to connect to hundreds of trading venues across Europe, is on track and is planned to go live in time with the application of MiFID in 2018. This project will allow us to collect data in a more efficient and harmonised manner across Europe, thereby achieving important economies of scale and lowering costs for industry and taxpayers, and publish all transparency parameters and reference data on financial instruments in a one-stop shop.

 

In order to collect data in an efficient and harmonised manner, a new data collection infrastructure is being developed.

 

The absence of the data collection infrastructures has implications across the entire scope of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 and Directive 2014/65/EU.

 

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See also:

 

ESMA database: Financial Instruments Reference Data System (FIRDS)

 

Financial Instruments Reference Files

 

FIRDS validation tables

 

   

FIRDS will be used, among others, for:

 

- Without data it will not be feasible to establish a precise delineation of financial instruments that fall within the scope of the new framework.

 

- It will not be possible to tailor the pre-trade and post-trade transparency rules, in order to determine which instruments are liquid and when waivers or deferred publication should be granted.

 

- Absent the data, trading venues and investment firms will not be able to report executed transactions to competent authorities.

 

- In the absence of position reporting for commodity derivatives it will be difficult to enforce position limits on such contracts.

 

- With no position reporting, there is a limited ability to effectively detect breaches of the positon limits.

 

- Many of the requirements in relation to algorithmic trading are also dependent on data.

 

- The absence of data collection infrastructures will also make it difficult for investment firms to apply best execution rules.

 

- Trading venues and systematic internalises will not be able to publish data relating to the quality of execution of transactions on those venues. Investment firms will not be provided with important execution data to help them determine the best way to execute client orders.

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ESMA's Note of 2 October 2015 on MIFID/MIFIR implementation: delays in the go-live date of certain MiFID provisions, ESMA/2015/1514, p. 3

ESMA is running a project (FIRDS) to centralise the collection of reference data according to the Regulation and to collect it directly from venues by delegation of 21 NCAs . This requires direct connection to around 100 trading venues (and another 200 through NCAs) and the construction of a system to collect and process more than 15 million instruments (compared to only Regulated Markets and with just one tenth of the number of instruments in the current reference data system).

 

 

Verena Ross, ESMA's Executive Director, has underlined the significance of the FIRDS infrastructure the following way:

"In one area we are entering completely new ground to improve data quality. In the context of the MiFID II implementation, national competent authorities (including the Norwegian FSA) have delegated to ESMA for the first time two major data related IT projects (which are legally under MiFID a national competence). ESMA will provide a central facility in relation to reference and trading data and the calculation of the comprehensive MiFIR transparency parameters. This project will allow us to collect data in a more efficient and harmonised manner across Europe, thereby achieving important economies of scale and lowering costs for industry and taxpayers, and publish all transparency parameters and reference data on financial instruments in a one-stop shop" (Regulatory and supervisory developments, the challenges ahead – a European perspective, Finanstilsynet 30th Anniversary International Conference Oslo, 20 October 2016, ESMA/2016/1497, p. 6, 7). 

 

 

FIRDS Instructions

 

 

Instructions on the use of FIRDS ESMA website are laid down in the ESMA document (updated on 6 January 2022) "Instructions on how to download transparency results files v1.4".

The above ESMA instructions also address the rules for the access to the files published (both interfaces: human and machine-to-machine).

 

Instructions to download full and delta transparency results files


As regards the timing of generation the files published by ESMA on its website are generated:
a. on a weekly basis for the Full Files containing ISIN-level results (every Saturday)
b. on a daily basis for the Delta Files containing ISIN-level results ; in case there is no change to publish on that day, no delta file is generated.
c. on a quarterly basis for the files containining sub-class/asset class37 level results of systematic internalisers related calculations;
d. on a yearly (or ad-hoc) basis for the yearly derivative sub-class level calculation results and yearly bond LIS / SSTI thresholds calculation results file.


The transparency calculation results files produced by FIRDS are structured as follows:
a. Encapsulation of a Business Application Header (BAH), and a Payload as per XML Schema head.003.001.01.xsd
b. The Business Application Header is generated as per XML Schema head.001.001.01_ESMAUG_1.0.0.xsd
c. The payload is generated as per XML Schema


auth.044.001.02_ESMAUG_DATECR_1.1.0.xsd for Equity calculation results full files (FULECR) and delta files (DLTECR) and


auth.045.001.03_ESMAUG_FULNCR_1.2.0.xsd for Non-Equity calculation results full files (FULNCR) and delta files (DLTNCR)

Link to XML Schema:

https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/esma65-11- 1192_annex_firds_transparency_xml_schema_1.2.0.zip


The above ESMA instructions also indicate the respective file naming conventions.

 

Access to the files published (human interface)

 

In order to access to the files published (human interface):

 

a. Go to https://registers.esma.europa.eu/publication/ select register “Financial Instrument Transparency System” ; or go directly to

https://registers.esma.europa.eu/publication/searchRegister?core=esma_registers_fitrs_files


b. Use the Publication Date filter on the left hand side and click on “Filter list” to list all files published within the specified period.

 

Additional filters are available to further refine the list (File type: ISIN-level results Full file/ISIN-level results Delta file/Sub-class level yearly calculation results/Sub-class level SI calculation results/Asset-class level SI calculation results , Instruments type: Equity / Non-Equity instruments).

 

c. Click on the Download Link for any of the files returned, in order to download the corresponding file.

 

Access to the files published (machine-to-machine interface)


To support automated download of the files, it is possible to list the files published on a specific date by sending an HTTP request.

The following HTTP request will return the list of the files published by ESMA on 24 November 2017:


https://registers.esma.europa.eu/solr/esma_registers_fitrs_files/select?q=*&fq=creation_date:%5B 2017-11-24T00:00:00Z+TO+2017-11-24T23:59:59Z%5D&wt=xml&indent=true&start=0&rows=100


There are also tables explaining aspects of the above query so that it can be modified as required to meet necessary usage requirements

 

The combination of start and row is used to assist cycling over the results when multiple results are returned e.g. more than 100. To read a secondary list (100+) change start to 100 and leave rows as 100.

The number of records that the query returns is given by attributes of the resultsFound list.

The response is an XML document. The URL to the files are located under the following XPath:
/response/result/doc/str[@name='download_link']

The number of returned files returned will usually be greater than 1 for a given date.