B2B Payments

New SWIFT Tool Makes Banks More Transparent

As financial institutions face the growing list of Know Your Customer rules – aimed at combating money laundering – SWIFT just launched its latest tool to aid banks’ transparency and compliance efforts with the KYC regulations.

The financial messaging conglomerate’s CEO Gottfried Leibbrant announced Thursday (Dec. 11) that the SWIFT Know Your Customer Registry is now live to all correspondent banks.

The Registry is part of SWIFT’s work to strengthen compliance with the KYC regulations throughout the financial services industry. The venture allows banks to access the Registry’s data, which compiles information the banks need regarding compliance with the KYC and anti-money-laundering rules.

SWIFT will not charge participating banks to contribute data to the Registry for 2015, the company said. The banks that submit data determine with other financial institutions can view that data.

“Regulatory compliance imposes an enormous cost burden on banks,” Leibbrant says, “and they are actively looking for common platforms to help mutualize that cost and reduce risk. The KYC Registry is our next flagship in financial crime compliance, delivering on our commitment to provide community-wide solutions for the industry.

More than 20 banks are currently participating in the KYC Registry, reports say; those include Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, among others.

The KYC Registry is only the latest venture in SWIFT’s KYC compliance offerings. Last month, the company announced the SWIFT Profile, a report that compiles traffic data on corresponding banks’ activities. The Profile, which will be available to those banks in January, will allow financial institutions to spot red flags and warning signs of troublesome customers that may violate KYC rules.

The SWIFT Profile will allow corresponding banks to share the data they submit at their discretion through the Registry.

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