SWIFT Opens KYC Registry to Funds Distributors and Custodians

SWIFT announced Thursday that its KYC Registry is now available to fund distributors and custodians. In response to an identified need within its community, SWIFT is extending the reach of the KYC Registry beyond correspondent banking to support know your customer (KYC) compliance requirements for funds distribution and custody services.

The KYC Registry offers correspondent banks and now fund distributors and custodians a unique approach to KYC compliance by providing access to a standardised set of qualified data and documentation needed to fulfil KYC obligations. Similar to banks, fund distributors and custodians will now be able to contribute an agreed ‘baseline’ set of data and documentation for validation by SWIFT, which the contributors can then share with their counterparties. All Registry users retain full ownership of their KYC information, along with control over who can access the data via the secure online platform.

“Fund distributors and custodians face similar challenges to banks with KYC due diligence,” says Mark Gem, head of compliance at Clearstream and Chair of the SWIFT Securities Compliance Working Group. “I am pleased that SWIFT is extending the reach of the KYC Registry, building upon its momentum in correspondent banking.”

Launched in December 2014, the KYC Registry provides a simple, secure way for financial institutions to exchange a standardised set of information required for KYC compliance, increasing efficiency and reducing risk. The KYC Registry was developed by SWIFT in collaboration with the industry to help financial institutions address the challenge of conducting counterparty due-diligence in a more timely and cost-effective way than current KYC processes.

“We are pleased to extend the KYC Registry to fund distributors and custodians, a move which is a natural extension of the KYC offering we have successfully put in place for correspondent banking, ” says Paul Taylor, director of compliance services at SWIFT. “As we continue to consult on our compliance strategy and roadmap we recognise that financial crime compliance is increasingly becoming a significant challenge for securities customers, and we are looking at broader ways of addressing those challenges, for example in the area of screening services.”

The KYC Registry includes entities from more than 110 countries, facilitating compliance with a growing number of correspondent relationships worldwide.

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