The financial services data company Markit has launched a messaging network, and eight large banks are among its first clients.

The new chat system, Markit Collaboration Services, is a so-called open or federated messaging system for the financial services industry, the company said. It works with several different platforms, allowing the users of different messaging platforms to communicate with each other.

In addition to instant messages, the system lets customers communicate through videos and chat rooms and exchange documents with one another. It is backed by NextPlane, which provides cloud-based communications technology.

Eight banks have announced that they will use the Markit platform and will invite their customers to use the network, Markit says. They are Bank of America (BAC), Barclays, Citigroup (NYSE: C), Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).

Thomson Reuters' Eikon Messaging system will work with the Markit system, the companies said. It will also work with AOL and Yahoo messaging platforms.

"Our aim is to help financial market participants become more efficient in the way they communicate and share information," said Markit Chief Executive Lance Uggla. "By offering them an interoperable collaboration system, we will change how financial markets operate. Having Thomson Reuters and many of the industry's major players as part of the network underlines the value of our proposition."

Bloomberg currently operates the most widely used messaging system for the finance sector, which is available to users of Bloomberg terminals.