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SWIFT’s KYC Registry goes live for correspondent banks worldwide

SWIFT announces that The KYC Registry is now available to banks seeking to increase efficiency and reduce risk related to their correspondent banking Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance activities.

More than 20 global and regional banks have joined The KYC Registry, demonstrating clear momentum and support for this community-driven financial crime compliance initiative.

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

The KYC Registry provides a simple, secure way to exchange a standardised set of information for correspondent banking due diligence. Banks contribute an agreed ‘baseline’ set of data and documentation for validation by SWIFT, which the contributors can then share with their counterparties. Each bank retains ownership of its own information, as well as control over which other institutions can view it.

"The KYC Registry from SWIFT will make it much easier for us to on-board new counterparties," says Francesco Rescigno, Head of Operational Risk, Compliance and AML, ICCREA Banca. "It will enable us to receive and share KYC information simply and securely, eliminating costly and redundant document exchanges."

"Correspondent banking relationships are critical to trade and economic development in emerging markets," says Steven Beck, Head of trade finance, Asian Development Bank. "We welcome The KYC Registry as a way for banks in these markets to demonstrate transparency and manage their counterparties’ information requests accurately and efficiently."

The KYC Registry is operated by SWIFT, the industry-owned cooperative, as a neutral information provider. Banks are not charged for data contribution, or for using the Registry to share their KYC information with other banks. To maximise the Registry’s benefits, SWIFT will make data consumption free in 2015 for banks that contribute their own KYC information to the Registry and promote it to their correspondents.

SWIFT is also introducing the SWIFT Profile, a unique report which increases KYC transparency and addresses Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC) requirements. The SWIFT Profile is the first in a series of value-added KYC and customer due diligence services that SWIFT will offer in connection with The KYC Registry.