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SWIFT extends Sanctions Screening to support all financial transaction formats

Hosted service provides simple, cost-effective compliance with sanctions regulations

Brussels, 13 January 2015 – SWIFT announces t300px-SWIFT.svghe extension of its Sanctions Screening service to support all messages used in financial transactions, regardless of format or financial network. Users can now screen all transaction formats, including SEPA (Single European Payments Area) and Fedwire payments, and transactions sent over networks other than SWIFT. The extended service also enables greater flexibility and back-office integration, addressing the needs of mid-sized banks and other users that have more complex business and operational requirements.

SWIFT developed Sanctions Screening for institutions that value a hosted solution to support real-time message screening against international sanctions lists. The service combines a highly sophisticated screening engine and sanctions list management with SWIFT’s security, reliability and resilience. Transactions can be screened against more than 30 of the most important sanctions lists, including lists from the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control, (OFAC), the UK’s HM Treasury, the European Union, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. SWIFT performs sanctions list updates at no additional charge, eliminating a major source of cost and risk for customers.

Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, SWIFT, said: “As sanctions regulations evolve, the burden of compliance on banks and other institutions is becoming increasingly resource intensive, costly and time-consuming. SWIFT’s enhanced Sanctions Screening service leverages SWIFT’s unique position at the heart of the international payments business to help financial institutions deal with the complexities of compliance in an efficient, real-time and cost-effective way. In the MENA region, SWIFT is working closely with the local banking and finance community as they work to ensure compliance with domestic and international regulations.”

SWIFT customers globally are welcoming the enhanced service. “We have used Sanctions Screening since 2012 and greatly value the peace of mind it provides as a key part of our sanctions compliance programme,” says Christine Coffin, Head of Back Office, CPoR Devises. “We have tested the extended service from SWIFT and are very pleased that we can now count on Sanctions Screening for our SEPA payments.”

“In today’s world, banks need to strengthen their AML/CFT systems with automated and real-time tools that enable effective controls,” says Ramiro Uribe Aleman, Chief Compliance Officer of Banco Economico, Bolivia. “We chose Sanctions Screening from SWIFT to use as part of our process for sending and receiving electronic wire transfers. We are confident that this application provided by SWIFT will be a great contribution to effective sanctions compliance.”

“Sanctions Screening is a community-based solution that makes transaction screening simple and affordable, even for the smallest institutions,” says Nicolas Stuckens, Head of Sanctions Compliance Services, SWIFT. “Extending this service is a natural next step for SWIFT in our vision to support the evolving financial crime compliance needs of the industry.”

SWIFT introduced Sanctions Screening in 2012 as the first offering in its financial crime compliance portfolio. Nearly 300 institutions in 97 countries have subscribed to the service, including 15 central banks.

To continue the dialogue with the MENA community, SWIFT is participating in the ACAMS Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crime Conference being held in Dubai, UAE, on the 18th and 19th of January, 2015. There will also be sessions on financial crime and compliance at SWIFT’s Middle East Regional Conference in Jordan, 30-31 March 2015.

For more information about Sanctions Screening, visit

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