Eight banks join Markit and Thomson Reuters chat network

Mon Oct 7, 2013 12:04pm EDT
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By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and six other banks have agreed to join a new instant messaging network from Markit and Thomson Reuters Corp to connect disparate messaging systems.

The network, called Markit Collaboration Services, was launched on Monday and allows members to chat with one another regardless of the proprietary messaging technology that each firm uses.

This open platform contrasts with Bloomberg LP's messaging system, which is a closed network only for users of Bloomberg terminals. Bloomberg messaging is the most popular form of chat on Wall Street, and often cited as one of the reasons banks are willing to pay around $20,000 a year for a subscription to a Bloomberg terminal.

Markit and Thomson Reuters said they hoped their open messaging network will attract banks that want to chat with their clients or other financial institutions but cannot currently do so because they are on different messaging systems.

David Craig, president of Thomson Reuters' Financial & Risk division, said that the company and Markit started drafting plans for the open network last year at the request of clients.

"This is something that came together with our partners at Markit because the industry, our customers, asked us to do this," Craig said. "It's open to the industry to connect to."

The eight partner banks are minority shareholders in the privately held Markit, and include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, in addition to Goldman and JPMorgan.

The banks collectively employ more than 1 million people worldwide, though it was not immediately clear how many individuals will use the new Markit service.   Continued...

The new Thomson Reuters logo is seen as employees sit at their desks in the Dubai office April 17, 2008. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh