NU Online News Service, March 16, 2004, 2:12 p.m. EST – The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., New York, says it will allow free use of all of its copyrighted Insurance Processing Service data layouts.[@@]

Insurers and distributors can use the data layouts to process transactions through DTCC computers or outside processing systems, the DTCC says.

Traditionally, life insurers have used proprietary systems to communicate with their distributors. The DTCC is giving away use of its data layouts to encourage life insurers to shift to the kind of open systems and multi-company systems that mutual fund manufacturers and distributors use.

The DTCC began trying to guide the life insurance industry to an open systems approach in April 2003, by allowing all industry players to use its data layouts for annuity applications and subsequent premium payments.

Annuity issuers and distributors seem to be making more use of standards-based processing systems now that the DTCC has encouraged insurers to adopt the DTCC data layouts as de facto standards, the DTCC says.