Swift opens registry to corporate members

03 Apr 2019

Interbank network Swift is opening its Know Your Customer (KYC) Registry to corporates, allowing them to exchange data and documents with banking partners, gain efficiencies and prevent duplication.

From the fourth quarter of 2019, all of Swift’s 2,000 corporate groups will be able to join the KYC Registry, which already includes 5,100 bank members.

“Corporate treasurers cite KYC as one of the top three challenges they face in their bank relationships,” said Marie-Charlotte Henseval, head of KYC compliance services at Swift.

“This utility already delivers huge benefits to banks, and its extension to corporates will extend them the same advantages, with a standard agreed by the community and a secure platform enabling efficient data sharing.”

The Swift KYC Registry is an online portal where financial institutions, such as banks, can exchange KYC due diligence information with their correspondents in a secure, standardised and controlled manner. It also allows banks to gain access to their correspondents’ KYC profiles, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective process.

Major corporations typically use a range of banks in different jurisdictions around the world and need to exchange information with them to enable KYC checks. This data is frequently held in different locations and can be incomplete or out of date, making the process time-consuming for both the corporates and their banks.

Swift said that different jurisdictional requirements and the lack of standardised data across the corporate market when it comes to KYC checks compounds inefficiencies in the process.

Corporates will be able to upload standard information to the KYC Registry as well exchange relevant documents requested by their banking partners, while banks will gain access to corporates’ information through the same portal that they use for KYC checks.

Stephan Ziegler, head of bank relations at Siemens Treasury, said: “As a global corporation, the efforts of Siemens to perform KYC-related tasks across the institution is a repetitive, lengthy and a cumbersome process.”

“With Swift announcing KYC for corporates, we see a well-positioned player moving ahead to answer this need with the full strength of its banking and corporate community.”

John Colleemallay, senior director, group treasury and financing, at Dassault Systèmes, said it was a welcome move for all treasurers considering the heavy workload involved in providing the same documentation several times in multiple formats to banking partners.

“We look forward to having a secured shared registry where we can more easily and rapidly complete the KYC processes,” he added.