Swift screening to cushion SMEs from financial crime

Firm says the inclusion creates a level playing field. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Firm says the inclusion creates a level playing field. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Global financial text-messaging service provider SWIFT has allowed small firms access to its Name Screening software in a bid to combat financial crime.

This will see smaller firms and institutions in emerging markets screen customer databases against sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) lists before allowing named individuals to use money transfer services.

Legally, politically exposed persons are individuals who are entrusted with a public function including ministers, military officials, and heads of parastatals.

Anti-money laundering regulations in Kenya require companies to take extra measures when dealing with transactions from these individuals.

“As the latest addition to our compliance services suite, Name Screening will bring an easy-to-use and efficient solution and contribute to protecting the wider payments industry,” said SWIFT’s head of financial crime compliance services Luc Meurant.

He said SWIFT aims at creating a level playing field for large and small financial institutions in the fight against financial crime across the globe.

Mr Meurant said their partnership with list data provider Dow Jones would enable real time sanctions screening and testing services as one product.

Name Screening can easily be tailored to address local regulatory requirements and institutional risk policies.

Screening customer names is a mandatory function requiring financial firms’ to deter use of their facilities for money-laundering, compliance with sanctions and running customer due diligence.

SWIFT connects 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructure and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories.