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Technical Notice

FINRA Planned Termination of Support of CTCI Protocol for Reporting Trades to TRACE AND ORF

August 16, 2018

FINRA currently supports three methods for the reporting of transactions to its TRACE and Over-The -Counter Reporting (ORF) products – FIX, Computer-to-Computer Interface (CTCI) and TRAQS. Subject to SEC approval, beginning in early first quarter 2020, FINRA would no longer support the CTCI protocol (CTCI/TCP; CTCI/MQ) for both TRACE and ORF transaction reporting. Any client, including Service Bureaus, that currently utilizes CTCI and wishes to continue to deliver electronic transactions (i.e. not via TRAQS) would need to migrate to the FIX protocol by Monday, February 3, 2020.

To begin the transition to FIX, all affected clients and Service Bureaus should contact Nasdaq Trading Services or call (212) 231-5180.  No amended FINRA contracts or agreements will be necessary to facilitate the change from CTCI to FIX.

The table below lists the steps required for clients and Service Bureaus to complete the transition to FIX by February 3, 2020.   

Note: Clients and Service Bureaus can migrate to the FIX protocol as soon as possible and do not need to wait until February 3, 2020, as a formal CTCI-FIX parallel period will not be offered. 

Clients and Service Bureaus may continue to run CTCI and FIX concurrently prior to the cutoff date to ensure a successful transition.

Step Task Contact

FIX service add request; Port(s)

Fill out FINRA Services Port Request Form requesting FIX service for desired products; establish ports for connections.

Nasdaq Technical Services; (212) 231-5180

Fax - (212) 231-5426

CTCI service removal request

Decide when the CTCI removal should take place in case you wish to continue to run CTCI with FIX for a period prior to the CTCI end migration date. Fill out FINRA Services Port Request Form indicating removal of CTCI service for affected products;

Nasdaq Technical Services; (212) 231-5180

Fax - (212) 231-5426

Develop FIX software messaging layer

Download FIX Specification(s) for desired FINRA products (see below); code to appropriate FIX specification(s).

FINRA Product Management ; (866) 899-2107

Production Port connectivity test

Set up a time for a connection ping test.

Nasdaq Technical Services; (212) 231-5180

FIX Software testing (test region)

Establish timeframe for testing

[email protected]

FIX Software testing (production region)

Work with FINRA to understand which weekends will be available for production connectivity and software testing. FINRA will advertise these dates at a later time.

FINRA Product Management ; (866) 899-2107

FIX live in production

Client or Service Bureau determines live date and informs FINRA staff.

FINRA Business Services; Technical Services; FINRA Product Management

Testing Fees:

Clients and Service Bureaus may test software free of charge in NTF for 30 calendar days. Once a client or Service Bureau informs the NASDAQ test team they are starting testing, the free period will begin and cannot be interrupted; [email protected] must be notified at the commencement of testing. After the 30-day period ends, normal NTF fees will apply for anyone connecting and testing. Questions regarding NTF fees can be directed to NASDAQ Technical Services at (212) 231-5180.

TRACE FIX messaging protocol specifications:

The ORF FIX messaging protocol specifications:

FINRA will post additional technical notices regarding this program once SEC approval is obtained and as the CTCI end date approaches.  

Questions should be sent to FINRA Product Management or call (866) 899-2107.