20 September 2016

The Banker: Interview with Gottfried Leibbrandt

SWIFT CEO speaks about correspondent banking and challenges affecting the industry

Brian Caplen, Editor of The Banker speaks with SWIFT CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt, about the state of correspondent banking, the challenges affecting the community, and the SWIFT’s response to recent customer security incidents.

The two-part interview is available on the website of The Banker.

Part 1: Reshaping correspondent banking

Gottfried Leibbrandt sees the correspondent banking industry at an inflection point. In part 1 of the interview, he speaks about the challenges to the correspondent banking industry from fintech startups, growing regulatory and compliance obligations, low interest rates and cyber security, and how they are reshaping the industry.

He explains that SWIFT plays a special role in supporting its community with these challenges. SWIFT’s KYC Registry, the Customer Security Programme, the global payments innovation initiative (gpi) and Australia’s new real time payments platform are just a few examples of how SWIFT is future proofing the correspondent banking industry.

Part2: Cyber security

In part 2 of the interview, Gottfried Leibbrandt goes on to speak about SWIFT’s strong response to recent customer security incidents. He reiterated that SWIFT has no indication of any compromise to its network, and presented SWIFT’s strong operational performance to date this year.

Recent customer fraud cases all entailed compromised customer environments. Gottfried Leibbrandt said that SWIFT continues to see new cases, all following similar modus operandi to the earlier incidents. He explained that all cases included compromised customer environments, attackers obtaining credentials to initiate payments and obfuscating their tracks.

Finally, Gottfried Leibbrandt presented SWIFT’s recently launched Customer Security Programme (CSP). The CSP provides the framework for SWIFT to help its community better protect themselves against cyber challenges to their environments. The programme focusses on information sharing and forensics, security tools and software, security practices and external assurance, as well as detection capabilities. SWIFT’s CSP is already delivering results as SWIFT shares anonymised information from previous cases and Indicators of Compromise to protect against future attacks.

Gottfried Leibbrandt said that no options are off the table in SWIFT’s response to cyber security, and concluded that all parties have a role to play in managing cyber risks: regulators, users, counterparties and SWIFT.

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