Banks back Swift KYC Registry initiative
A group of major international banks have agreed to jointly develop and use the centralised Know Your Customer Registry announced by Swift at the start of the year.
The industry-owned messaging and standards consortium also said it plans to add a new analytics service to its expanding portfolio of compliance solutions, which already includes sanctions screening and sanctions testing solutions. The Registry is expected to go live at the end of this year following a “controlled ramp-up” during the summer.
The group of banks, which includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Commerzbank, JPMorgan, Société Générale and Standard Chartered, will work with Swift to build a centralised utility for the collection and distribution of data required for regulatory compliance.
Swift will operate the KYC Registry as an industry-wide utility, forming part of its Financial Compliance Services unit. It will initially focus on correspondent banking relationships and says that more banks are expected to join the initiative in the coming months.
The banks will participate in a Swift-led working group to agree the processes, documentation and information necessary to fulfil KYC requirements across multiple jurisdictions. They will also start populating the registry with their own KYC data.
Luc Meurant, head of banking markets and compliance services at Swift, and head of the Financial Compliance Services unit, said: “The banks’ involvement is an important step in this initiative to standardise the process and reduce the cost associated with KYC activities. The commitment from these banks demonstrates the importance of collaboration in financial crime compliance. Every Swift user will be able to benefit from our community-based solutions.”
Each user will have a standardised access point to obtain details on their counterparties, while retaining ownership of their own information and control over which institutions can view it.
Pascal Augé, head of global transactions & payment services at Société Générale, said: “One of the major challenges with KYC activities is maintaining accurate information. Having a single, centralised Registry for up-to-date KYC information will reduce the time, effort and cost related to gathering, accessing and sharing KYC information. We are pleased to join this collaborative effort to make the KYC Registry a reality.”