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Russia’s Central Bank to create alternative to SWIFT bank transaction system by mid-2015

November 11, 2014, 14:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The idea of creating a Russian alternative to the SWIFT transaction system was put forward by Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Rossiya banking association in September
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ALI HAIDER

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Bank plans to create a domestic alternative to the SWIFT international bank transaction system by May 2015, a Central Bank official said on Tuesday.

The Central Bank of Russia wants the national payment card system to operate along with the financial message system. The regulator also intends to create a SWFT message processing center, Deputy Director of the Central Bank’s National Payment System Department Ramilya Kanafina said.

The idea of creating a Russian alternative to the SWIFT international bank message system was put forward by Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Rossiya banking association in September.

Russia’s Finance Ministry published a bill at that time proposing regulation for the SWIFT system, as well as for the Bloomberg and Reuters financial market data terminals in the country.

In late August 2014, media reports said the UK had proposed banning Russia from the SWIFT network as part of an upcoming new round of sanctions against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine. However, this proposal was not supported by the EU countries at the time.

SWIFT transaction system

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) transmits 1.8 billion transactions a year, remitting payment orders worth $6 trillion a day. The system comprises over 10,000 financial organizations from 210 countries.

Under the SWIFT charter, groups of members and users are set up in each country covered by the system. In Russia, these groups are united in the RosSWIFT association.

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