SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening service exceeds 500 customers


Cooperative sees validation of the hosted utility model for compliance services

swift logoBrussels: SWIFT announces another important milestone for its hosted compliance services – the 500th customer for the SWIFT Sanctions Screening service. The achievement comes shortly after another hosted SWIFT compliance service, The KYC Registry, surpassed 2,500 member financial institutions this past May. The rapid uptake of the two offerings validates SWIFT’s vision that compliance services are most efficiently and effectively delivered via a hosted utility model.    

“We are seeing tremendous interest on the part of our community in hosted utility services like Sanctions Screening,” said Nicolas Stuckens, Head of Sanctions Compliance Services, SWIFT. “The service is truly a win-win for our customers: they benefit from a standardised, shared, community-developed solution that is updated in line with the latest sanctions lists, as well as increased transparency around compliance, reduced risk and lower maintenance costs.”

Sanctions Screening is a hosted utility service that screens financial transactions in real-time against more than 30 up-to-date sanctions lists from all the major regulatory bodies, including OFAC, the United Nations and the European Union. All structured message types can be screened, including FIN, ISO 20022, SEPA, FedWire and other non-SWIFT messages. Matches, or “hits,” are identified immediately and highlighted for further action.

The service is designed for the needs of small to mid-size financial institutions as well as corporations, high-volume payments businesses and central banks Since its launch in 2012, SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening service has been adopted by customers in 135 countries, including entire banking communities in Ghana and Nigeria, among other countries.  There are also 20 central banks using the service.

“SWIFT Sanctions Screening is easy to implement and easy to use,” says Beatriz Kissler, General Manager of GDS Cusa, the Banking Services Operations company from CaixaBank, Spain’s leading retail financial institution with more than 14 million customers and over 5,000 branches. “Choosing SWIFT was a logical solution to support our growing compliance needs, particularly with its proven security, reliability and outstanding customer service.”

“Sanctions Screening has been an integral part of our sanctions compliance programme since April 2015, and the peace of mind it provides is invaluable,” adds Kissler. “Given SWIFT’s track record of developing effective compliance solutions for the benefit of the industry, SWIFT is a natural and trusted partner for our efforts and this area.”

Based on the success of its Sanctions Screening and Sanctions Testing services, SWIFT is in the process of expanding its sanctions compliance services portfolio. Further details will be made available at the upcoming Sibos Conference in Geneva on 26-29 September 2016.

About SWIFT’s financial crime compliance services portfolio

SWIFT’s Compliance Services unit manages a growing portfolio of financial crime compliance services in the areas of sanctions, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The portfolio includes Sanctions Screening and Sanctions Testing services, Compliance Analytics and The KYC Registry.

About SWIFT:

SWIFT is a global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services.

We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and financial crime compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories, enabling them to communicate securely and exchange standardised financial messages in a reliable way.

As their trusted provider, we facilitate global and local financial flows, support trade and commerce all around the world; we relentlessly pursue operational excellence and continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.