14 April 2014

Indian financial community celebrates launch of SWIFT India

SWIFT India Domestic Services (“SWIFT India”) was officially launched at a press conference on 7 March in Mumbai by SWIFT India Chairman M V Nair, SWIFT Chief Executive Asia Pacific & EMEA Alain Raes and SWIFT India CEO Saqib Sheikh.

Mr Sheikh said: “As the industry, guided by the Reserve Bank of India, realises innovative initiatives such as the next-generation RTGS, we at SWIFT India intend to be significant contributors to growth, stability and innovation as we leverage SWIFT expertise and experience to develop products for India, by India.”

SWIFT India was created by the Indian community, together with SWIFT, to serve India’s domestic market needs. The current joint venture partners include leading public and private banks (in alphabetical order): Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India, with two more public sector joining the partnership shortly.

On 18 March in Mumbai, the SWIFT Board of Directors hosted a celebratory dinner for the Indian financial community to celebrate the launch of SWIFT India. Gottfried Leibbrandt, Chief Executive Officer, SWIFT, welcomed the guests on behalf of the Board and explained, “This is the first time the global SWIFT Board meets in the Asia Pacific region. It is very appropriate for SWIFT Board to meet in India, as this is the location of one of SWIFT’s ‘firsts’ – SWIFT India Domestic Services.”

SWIFT India will set a solid foundation for India's economic growth and technological innovation by providing a highly reliable, secure and reusable domestic messaging platform for efficient and harmonised exchange of financial information between banks, corporates and market infrastructures. It is expected to deploy domestic messaging services by the end of 2014.

M V Nair, Chairman of the Board, SWIFT India, said: "The combination of SWIFT's global expertise in best-of-breed messaging systems and our deep understanding of the local market means that SWIFT India is well equipped to fully support the India of today and the India of tomorrow. And because the Indian financial services market is diverse and vibrant, it’s growing at a steady pace towards the next wave of transformation -- and our institutions need the robust world-class platform that SWIFT India can provide.”

H R Khan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India congratulated SWIFT India of its inauguration and told the community: “In line with our objectives for reliable, safe, resilient Indian financial markets, we are pleased to see that SWIFT India will soon be operationalizing its domestic messaging platform in India. RBI looks forward to successful operations of SWIFT India as a crucial service provider for financial market infrastructures, complying with international standards for domestic messaging.”

Mohan Tanksale, Chief Executive Officer of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), said: “With technology innovation, we expect that SWIFT India will reduce complexity, risks and costs to the Indian financial services community. We observe that local banks are eager to collaborate through cooperative structures such as SWIFT India to efficiently capture growth.”

Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific & EMEA, SWIFT, said: "We are happy to see so many communities brought together in celebration of the launch of SWIFT India Domestic Services. We are united in vision, and will be united in our efforts for the year ahead. We are committed to making SWIFT India an outstanding success. And together, we will make a difference for India.”

RBI speech highlights

SWIFT India Rbi's speech highlights with KWSWIFT India Rbi's speech highlights with KW

IBA full speech

SWIFT India opening speechSWIFT India opening speech

About SWIFT India
SWIFT India Domestic Services Pvt Ltd ("SWIFT India") is a local partnership created by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), the global banking cooperative, and Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Union Bank of India, and to other promoter banks soon to join, to address domestic market needs of the Indian financial services industry. Based on proven SWIFT technology, the company provides messaging services to domestic market infrastructures, banks and corporates, enabling the financial community to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby reducing costs and risks, improving compliance and services to its customers. SWIFT India's mission is to support the community in the next wave of banking industry transformation.

SWIFT has been in Asia Pacific for more than 30 years, with eight commercial and support offices, as well as an Operational Central Control Centre and a new corporate services hub that opened in Kuala Lumpur in March 2013.

For more information, please contact Saqib Sheikh at saqib@swiftindia.org.in.