| LONDON, March 4
LONDON, March 4 JPMorgan, Citigroup
and four more major banks have signed up with an industry
group to develop a central register of information on other
banks they deal with to help to meet increasing compliance
demands and costs.
Swift, a Brussels-based group used by thousands of banks to
exchange financial messages, said on Tuesday that six banks had
agreed to develop and use the register, which will collect and
share standard information required by banks as part of their
due diligence processes.
Senior bankers have for some time said there is potential
for banks to share information on customers to help to meet
increasing "know your customer" (KYC) requirements and save
money by reducing duplication of information.
Regulators require banks to have rigid KYC policies and are
tightening compliance to bolster protection against money
laundering and fraud.
Swift's KYC Registry will at first focus on correspondent
relationships, which are the other banks they deal with in
handling transactions. It was not clear whether data sharing
will later extend to corporate customers or individuals.
Banks have in the past pointed to client confidentiality and
security as stumbling blocks to such sharing of information, but
Swift said each bank will retain ownership of its own
information and control over which institutions can view the
JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,
Commerzbank, Societe Generale and Standard
Chartered have signed the agreement with Swift.
The Brussels-based organisation said it expects more banks
to join in the coming months.
"Having a single, centralised registry for up-to-date KYC
information will reduce the time, effort and cost related to
gathering, accessing and sharing KYC information," said Pascal
Auge, head of global transactions and payment services at
The banks will join a working group to agree processes and
the documentation and information necessary to meet KYC
requirements across many countries and will start putting their
own data into the register, Swift said.