Swift declares that any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators.
Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law.
According to the statement SWIFT will not respond to individual calls and pressure to disconnect financial institutions from its network.
Brussels, 6 October 2014 – SWIFT and its stakeholders have received calls to disconnect institutions and entire countries from its network – most recently Israel and Russia.
SWIFT is a neutral global cooperative company set up under Belgian law.
It was established by and for its members to create a shared worldwide messaging service and a common language for international transactions.
SWIFT provides services to over 10,500 financial institutions and corporations in over 200 jurisdictions around the world.
SWIFT is a critical service provider to the financial industry and plays a pivotal role in supporting international commerce and trade.
SWIFT services are designed to facilitate its customers’ compliance with sanctions and other regulations, however SWIFT will not make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network as a result of political pressure.
SWIFT regrets the pressure, as well as the surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world.
As a utility with a systemic global character, it has no authority to make sanctions decisions.
Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators. Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law.
SWIFT will not respond to individual calls and pressure to disconnect financial institutions from its network.
Founded in 1973, SWIFT is a global provider of secure financial messaging services headquartered in Belgium.
The Company is operated for the collective benefit of its Shareholders, to facilitate the study, creation, utilization and operation of the means necessary for the telecommunication, transmission and routing of private, confidential and proprietary financial messages.
SWIFT has a wide and growing range of financial crime compliance tools, including sanctions screening and sanctions testing services.
The cooperative’s focus is to help its users in meeting their responsibilities in complying with national and international regulations.
SWIFT is purely a messaging service provider and has no involvement in or control over the underlying financial transactions that are mentioned in their messages carried through its system.
Responsibility for ensuring that individual financial transactions comply with sanctions laws therefore rests with the financial institutions handling them, and their competent authorities.