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17th April 2012

SWIFT launches Sanctions Screening

SWIFT has launched Sanctions Screening, a centralised service for small- and medium-sized financial institutions. It uses the FircoSoft engine and is said to offer a cost-effective, easy route to keep up with increasing regulatory obligations. Complying with evolving sanctions regulations and frequently updated lists has become more complex, costly and time-consuming for financial institutions.


Brigitte De Wilde, Head of AML and Sanctions Initiatives, SWIFT, says, "Our industry is faced with increasing regulatory demands that prove a heavy burden on operational costs. SWIFT is committed to helping our customers reduce cost and increase operational efficiency. 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 best-in-class service and take away the hassle of updating lists in back-office systems."


Users of the Sanctions Screening 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.


SWIFT was pressured to apply the sanctions against Iranian banks on a central basis by the US, and the European Union stopping all SWIFT transactions. Previously applying any sanctions has been left to the individual banks to apply.