SWIFT Recognised for KYC Registry, Sanctions Testing Service

Singapore/Hong Kong, 15 December 2020 – SWIFT has won two awards – Best Solution, KYC Utility; and Best Solution, Sanctions Filter Testing – in the 3rd Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence 2020 in an online ceremony on 15 December 2020.

SWIFT’s consent-based KYC Registry was established in 2014 and was designed in collaboration with banks to standardise correspondent banking due diligence. The KYC Registry offers a secure platform that streamlines the collection of KYC information, which is independently verified by SWIFT. The high level of standardisation on the platform facilitates onboarding of correspondent banks, which is of key importance for institutions in emerging markets which may often be considered less transparent jurisdictions.

Besides the 6,000 correspondent banks that contribute data and documents, the KYC Registry also opened up to corporates in December 2019, following a successful pilot involving 18 multinational firms. Corporates can now provide data and documentation in the KYC Registry to streamline the KYC process and their access to banking services.

“Most KYC information is still exchanged bilaterally, which is a highly manual and cumbersome process,” said one judge on the awards panel. “SWIFT’s KYC Registry is the only truly global KYC utility that remains in the market, after many similar projects failed in recent years. SWIFT gives the consuming banks certainty that the data and documents on the KYC Registry are accurate and complete, reducing the risk of doing business.”

The KYC Registry features a messaging platform for communications between correspondents in case additional KYC information is needed, which is exchanged within the utility itself with full end-to-end auditability. SWIFT has also implemented APIs to allow integration with bank systems through streamlined access to KYC profiles.

In the Sanctions Filter Testing category, SWIFT was recognised for its Sanctions Testing Service (STS), which since 2012 has helped financial institutions assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their sanctions filters and identify any issues that need fixing or areas in need of improvement. STS also helps firms to defend their risk policies, reduce false positives, and demonstrate to management and regulators that their filters are working appropriately.

STS is fully automated, and supports all key regulator lists and allows institutions to test fuzzy matching capabilities by automatically creating name variants. SWIFT is also able to back-test for point-in-time sanctions compliance, by maintaining copies of every sanctions and PEPs list historically. Top tier institutions use STS to regularly test their filter effectiveness and improve efficiency. One Singapore bank reported a reduction of false positives in its payments filter by 60 percent as a result of the testing service.

“Independent third party testing and assessment helps to reduce overreliance on sanctions screening vendors,” noted one judge on the awards panel. “Quite impressive is that SWIFT performs full list testing, not just sample testing. This helps banks to identify all the hits and misses, which is critical information to ensure they can continuously improve sanctions screening and remain compliant with regulations.”

About the Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence 2020

The Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence recognises financial institutions, technology companies, legal and consulting firms, exchanges and other players that have helped meet the challenges of the ever-changing and increasingly complex regulatory landscape in Asia Pacific. Each year, submissions are diligently evaluated and award winners selected by a panel of industry experts serving as judges.

The full list of award winners is available here.

About Regulation Asia

Regulation Asia is the leading source for actionable regulatory intelligence for Asia Pacific markets. With over 8,500 subscribers, including regulatory bodies, exchanges, banks, asset managers and service providers, Regulation Asia plays a key role in shaping the regulatory agenda.

Visit www.regulationasia.com or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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