SWIFT has launched a new sanctions screening centralised alert service, which uses a Fircosoft filtering application and list updates in the cloud, to help small and medium-sized financial institutions and corporations comply with sanctions laws.
Users of the new service will be able to request selected SWIFT FIN messages be routed to the centralised screening application, where they will be filtered in real-time, and checked against customers’ selected sanctions lists. If there is no match to the sanctions list, the message will be delivered as usual. If there is a match, customers will be asked to instruct SWIFT as to whether to release, block or flag the message via an alert management system. The shared nature of the cloud-delivered service should be relatively simply to implement and cheap, although the sign-up fees have not been disclosed.
SWIFT says that it developed the sanctions screening service, using Fircosoft’s back-end filtering technology, to help its community keep up-to-date with the increasing regulatory obligations in this area. Complying with evolving sanctions regulations and frequently updated lists has become more complex, costly and time-consuming for financial institutions. There have been a raft of new sanctions policies in the wake of the changing political scene brought about by the Arab Spring and the supranational US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which will also increase the screening burden on businesses around the world, alongside normal anti-money laundering (AML) activities.
Commenting on the launch, Brigitte De Wilde, head of AML and sanctions initiatives at SWIFT, said: “Industry is faced with increasing regulatory demands that place a heavy burden on operational costs. SWIFT is committed to helping our customers reduce cost and increase operational efficiency. I believe our new Sanctions Screening service offers a straightforward ‘subscribe and comply’ solution.
“Through our collaboration with FircoSoft for the sanctions filter and lists, we are able to offer a service that takes away the hassle of updating lists in back-office systems,” she added.
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