Swift launches service to reduce risk of financial crime

IT security

Swift launches service to reduce risk of financial crime

Karl Flinders

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) has developed an application that analyses payment data to help identify possible financial crimes.

Swift’s network sends millions of financial transaction messages each day on behalf of 10,000 financial services firms. It was established in 1973, when 239 banks shared the communications service.

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The Compliance Analytics business intelligence system, which is now available, will enable banks to analyse their own traffic on the Swift network and identify “anomalies in behaviour, unusual patterns or trends in traffic flows, hidden relationships, and significant levels of activity in high-risk areas”, the organisation says.

“There are increasingly high expectations for financial institutions to implement policies and tools that will help identify and prevent financial crime activities,” said Luc Meurant, head of banking markets and compliance services at Swift. “Compliance Analytics enables banks to analyse their existing Swift traffic data to detect spikes, outliers or possible policy breaches.”

With most fraud now having a cyber element, the service will help banks meet regulator's rules and reassure customers.

Swift, which is owned by banks, is continuously looking to create shared services for its members. Developments it has proposed include an identity management system to banks and an app store to provide cloud-based community services to banks.

A senior IT security executive at a major bank told Computer Weekly that banks need to co-operate to fight financial crime and Swift is one platform where they can work together. “The people committing these large financial crimes are using multiple organisations to hide their tracks, so banks need to work together,” he said.

A recent survey showed that cyber crime is still the second most common type of economic crime reported by financial services respondents, after asset misappropriation.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, 39% of financial-sector respondents said they had been victims of cyber crime, compared with only 17% in other industries.

PwC believes the real cyber proportion of cyber crime could be higher than many organisations realise because they do not always identify and log the cyber element of any financial crime they experience.


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