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SWIFT leverages its global reference data platform to serve local communities

SWIFT will build on its global SWIFTRef platform to host and manage national and regional data initiatives

300px-SWIFT.svgBrussels, 10 February 2015 – SWIFT announces that it is making its global reference data platform available for national reference data collection and maintenance services, building on the foundations of its successful payments reference data platform, SWIFTRef.

The SWIFTRef platform is used to collect, manage and deliver worldwide payments reference data for use by over 5,500 financial institutions and 500 corporates globally. SWIFTRef data is used to populate international, Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and domestic payment instructions as well as support regulatory reporting needs.

As a result of increasing data complexities and stringent regulatory data requirement needs, national authorities face a growing challenge to collect and maintain an accurate central source for national identifiers such as national sort/clearing codes and domestic SEPA/International Bank Account Number (IBAN) data. In response, SWIFT offers national and regional communities the functionality and features of its global SWIFTRef platform for re-use at a local level.

One such implementation is the deployment of a UK nationwide, central data infrastructure platform to address the challenge set by European SEPA IBAN only regulation (EC 260/2012).  To ensure a smooth transition for its UK members (deadline is October 2016 for non-eurozone countries), the Payments Council in the UK decided to provide an automated central IBAN/BIC data collection and maintenance platform, based on SWIFTRef.

National bank identifiers, embedded in the national IBANs, are key to deriving the correct BIC from an IBAN. An efficient and automated mechanism to collect these national bank identifiers and related BICs at a national level is essential.  The Payments Council service will provide UK financial institutions real-time access to accurate IBAN-BIC data of peer banks and allow for easy maintenance of each institution’s IBAN-BIC data. Thanks to its flexible architecture, software and data management, the SWIFTRef platform will also be able to accommodate growth of new services and functions in line with the fast change of pace in the UK.

A similar regional project, built and today successfully operating on the SWIFTRef platform, is the Euro Banking Association (EBA) EURO1/STEP 1 reference data platform. In future, the SWIFTRef platform can be leveraged by any national or regional authority looking for a comprehensive answer to their reference data needs.

“Highly automated and efficient reference data platforms are becoming essential at a local level as regulatory requirements and the shift towards real-time processing, increases the pressure for instant and accurate data,” says Steve Gilderdale, Head of New Business Development, SWIFT. “With SWIFTRef, banks can rely on a robust and proven infrastructure to manage their national and regional data.”

Maurice Cleaves, Interim CEO of the Payments Council commented: “We appointed SWIFT to build the IBAN/BIC reference platform in the UK as their position and expertise within the industry will ensure full integration not only within the UK but also the EU. The UK is not a Euro country but has a close trading relationship with the eurozone, and so these projects to further integrate and comply with SEPA regulations are vital to the UK.”

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