EIGHT FOREIGN BANKS CONNECT TO THE RUSSIAN SWIFT

HomeNewsEIGHT FOREIGN BANKS CONNECT TO THE RUSSIAN SWIFT

Eight foreign banks have connected to the Russian version of SWIFT, Financial Message Transfer System (FMTS): three of these banks are now fully operational, while five are still in a trial period, the CBR's Director on the National Payment System Alla Bakina told the press.

“We have an option both for the foreign banks and foreign legal entities to connect to the FMTS. To date, the system has about 400 users, with contracts concluded with eight foreign participants as well 34 legal entities that also signed a contract. Our messaging traffic is growing, today it represents some 15% of the domestic SWIFT traffic, whereas last year it was at the level of 10-11%,” Bakina explains.

“Three foreign banks are listed in our user directory and operate on the market, the others perform technical procedures of connection and test-runs after signing the contract. These are primarily the EEU members," she explained later addressing the press.

In addition, the CBR is currently considering a possibility of connecting new participants to the FMTS indirectly, through the organisations already listed as participants of the system, using them as the so-called 'service bureaux'.

The Financial Message Transfer System (FMTS) was created by the Bank of Russia in response to the risks of possible disconnection of the Russian banks from the international SWIFT system. SWIFT itself claimed in October 2014, that it was under pressure from a number of countries that insisted on SWIFT joining the sanctions against Russia. The system, however, claims it's not inclined to give in.