LONDON: SWIFT has announced that the financial community in Turkmenistan has signed up to use its Know Your Customer (KYC) Registry, a centralised repository that maintains a standardised set of information about correspondent banks, funds distributors and custodians required for due diligence processes.
In addition, SWIFT announced that 13 banks in Uzbekistan have also signed up to use The KYC Registry.
In both community deals, SWIFT has worked closely with its Business Partner in the region, Alliance Factors, to support and on-board customers.
“It has never been more critical for communities to work together to combat financial crime and we fully understand the requirements of this region. Know Your Customer due diligence is of the highest importance in an increasingly complex environment marked by financial crime; The KYC Registry helps the community to meet their requirements seamlessly,” says Vera Yablochkova, SWIFT Sales Team leader, Alliance Factors.
“SWIFT’s utility approach helps them to save on costs and manpower, while providing the peace of mind that they are meeting our regulatory obligations. This is crucial in today’s environment.”
The communities in both countries join the 3,500 correspondent banks and funds players in over 200 countries and territories that are using the industry-owned compliance utility to standardise KYC management, increase effectiveness and efficiency, and demonstrate compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements. More than 20 central banks have also signed up for the service. This broad cross-section of the industry accounts for two-thirds of SWIFT message traffic.
The banks who have signed up to The KYC Registry are:
Turkmenistan: Halkbank, Bank Senagat, State Bank For Foreign Economic Affairs Of Turkmenistan, Presidentbank, Bank Garagum, Bank Turkmenbashi, Bank Turkmenistan, Turkmen Turkish Bank, National Bank Of Pakistan
Uzbekistan: Agrobank, Bank Asaka, Asia Alliance Bank, Infinbank, Aloqabank, Hamkorbank, Bank Ipak Yuli, National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Rep. Uzbekistan, Davr Bank, Qishloq Qurilish Bank, Xalq Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Trustbank, Uzbek Industrial and Construction Bank.
“As regulatory pressure increases we continue to look for ways to better support our community as they look for the best and most cost effective way to meet their compliance obligations,” says Pavel Prokudin, account director with responsibility for Central Asia, SWIFT. “We are enriching our compliance portfolio to give our community the right tools, as the country deals for KYC Registry and Sanctions Screening demonstrate.”
Gizem Tansu, Commercial Manager Financial Crime Compliance Initiatives, EMEA, SWIFT, says that working closely with Alliance Factors is an important element of SWIFT’s support for the community. “Alliance Factors is an extremely effective partner in the region. Their knowledge of these markets and customers is invaluable.”
Launched in December 2014 as part of SWIFT’s growing Financial Crime Compliance Services portfolio, The KYC Registry is a secure online data exchange solution that offers efficient, cost-effective management of KYC compliance processes. With the click of a button, members can instantly send data and documents to selected counterparties, without sacrificing control over their data or who sees it.
Collecting Know Your Customer documentation costs institutions time and money because it takes considerable staff resources and delays the start of business agreements with new customer banks. The KYC Registry tackles this challenge head on. Its information ‘baseline’ addresses more than 80 percent of the data and documentation requirements for onboarding new correspondent banking partners. Members are not charged for contributing data to the Registry or sharing their KYC data with other banks; they pay only for the data from other institutions that they consume. By standardising the process of data collection and sharing, The KYC Registry allows financial institutions to dedicate more resources to core compliance and business activities.
“The addition of the Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan communities to The KYC Registry is another proof point for the industry’s support of a standardised and collaborative approach to combatting financial crime compliance,” says Bart Claeys, Head of KYC Compliance Services, SWIFT. “We know that counterparty due diligence can be time- and labour-intensive, so we’re constantly working with our community to build efficient, cost-effective solutions for their compliance needs.”
In conjunction with The KYC Registry, SWIFT offers two supplemental KYC tools. The SWIFT Traffic Profile, a fact-based, non-judgmental analysis of SWIFT message traffic, provides Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC) insights to counterparty relationships, while the KYC Adverse Media service allows member institutions to access a global database of news articles and regulatory notices about their counterparties and correspondents. Both tools are available as part of SWIFT’s Know Your Customer offering, which is designed to address banks’ KYC challenges.
In addition, 6 banks in Uzbekistan have joined the 500+ banks already using SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening solution, including all of Turkmenistan who joined SWIFT Sanctions Screening in a country deal two years ago.
Sanctions Screening is a hosted utility service that screens financial transactions in real time against more than 30 up-to-date lists of sanctioned individuals and entities from all the major regulatory bodies, including OFAC, the United Nations and the European Union. Sanctions Screening has been adopted by customers in more than 140 countries.