Information on our Financial Instruments Reference Data System (FCA FIRDS). Read more about how FCA FIRDS works.

Replacing the ESMA FIRDS system for the UK

FCA FIRDS has replaced ESMA FIRDS in the UK.

ESMA’s FIRDS system records all those instruments reported by EU trading venues as being traded on them (ToTV) and helps firms, amongst other things, determine their transaction reporting obligations.

The FCA replacement for this system, FCA FIRDS, went live in March 2019 and remains operational. This system enables firms to download full and delta reference files. 

Read FCA FIRDS: Instructions on access and download of full and delta reference files (PDF).

How FCA FIRDS works

We have made our system as similar as possible to ESMA’s. The schema for the 2 systems was identical on 1 January 2021. However, some fields within the system work differently. The most important of these are:

  • Relevant Competent Authority (RCA) – will no longer be meaningful. The RCA field for instrument reference data submitted to us will default to GB.
  • FCA FIRDS Master Data (the record of the most relevant market) is likely to be different from ESMA’s, given that ESMA will use master data from EU venues.

The functionality of the search engine is comparable to ESMA’s, but we have used a different search engine, Amazon’s Elastic Search.

We considered suggestions made by firms to improve the ESMA FIRDS system by changing some fields or the reporting logic. In most cases the benefit of introducing these changes was outweighed by the uncertainty it would cause, given short timeframes. However, we have given firms more certainty around the timing of issuing delta files and full files. This will improve firms’ experience of the system without deviating from ESMA’s approach.

Update to the XML Schema for FIRDS and FITRS

ESMA went live with the XML Schema v1.2.0 from January 2022. The XML Schema v1.2.0 is made up of 3 elements:

  • Financial Instruments Reference Data System (FIRDS) - Cancellation of Instruments – Q1 2022
  • Financial Instruments Transparency Reference System (FITRS) - Publication of sub-asset class – 24 January 2022
  • Double Volume Cap (DVC) – Technical update – January 2022

More information can be found on ESMA’s MiFIR reporting instructions page.

We will only implement the FIRDS element of the Schema change to support cancellation of instrument reference data. This will result in the introduction of a new submission XML Schema – CANINS – along with the update of the XML Schema for the publication of daily delta file - DLTINS and new weekly cancellation file – FULCAN.

These changes will be implemented within the FCA’s systems according to the following timetable:

  • From 17 January 2022 in test environment
  • the go live of the XML Schema in production environment v1.2.0. is set for 7 March

The first DLTINS v1.2.0 will be published on 7 March.  

The first FULCAN v1.2.0 will be published on Saturday 12 March. 

Until we implement the changes, instruments cancelled in ESMA FIRDS will continue to show as active in FCA FIRDS.

Please contact UK FIRDS Support if you have any questions.

Page updates

: Editorial amendment Page layout updated
: Information added FIRDS Industry testing for CANINS file submissions
: Information added Update to the XML Schema for FIRDS and FITRS
: Editorial amendment Note about TTP key requirements
: Link changed FCA Financial Instruments Reference Data System (FIRDS) instructions
: Information added Update in highlight box on key requirements for firms