SWIFT announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a group of major banks to jointly develop and use SWIFT’s KYC Registry, a centralised utility for the collection and distribution of standard information required by banks as part of their due diligence processes.
The group, which includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Commerzbank, JPMorgan, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered, will work together with SWIFT to build a service that will help banks manage their compliance challenges and reduce the high costs associated with implementing KYC-related regulations. SWIFT will operate the KYC Registry as an industry-wide utility with an initial focus on correspondent banking relationships.
As a part of the MOU, the banks will participate in a SWIFT-led working group to agree the Registry’s processes as well as the documentation and information necessary to fulfil KYC requirements across multiple jurisdictions. In addition, the banks will start populating the registry with their own KYC data.
Expansion of KYC Registry members
In the coming months, additional banks are expected to join the KYC Registry (SWIFT hope) and contribute their own up-to-date information for secure, centralised storage. Each Registry user will have a standardised access point to obtain details on their counter-parties, while retaining ownership of their own information and control over which institutions can view it.
This is a critical initiative for SWIFT and they are not the only supplier, so no wonder, Javier Pérez-Tasso, Chief Marketing Officer, SWIFT commented, “By providing a central, standardised utility solution replacing bilateral document exchanges between each set of counter-parties, SWIFT is helping to reduce the cost, and risk associated with KYC compliance. It is encouraging to see the banks coming together around this initiative, which clearly demonstrates the value community-based solutions can bring to this challenge.”
KYC Platform competition
There are now three KYC platforms: IdenTrust KYC Exchange, KYC Exchange SaaS service from KYC Exchange Net AG, and SWIFT’s KYC Registry competing for the bank’s KYC business. I wonder which one is going to dominate?
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