4 October 2007

SWIFT Board approves messaging re-architecture

Distributed messaging topology enables multiple processing zones

The SWIFT Board of Directors has approved plans to move to a multi-zonal messaging architecture. The first deliverables are an enhanced core messaging platform to support multiple processing zones, a new global Operating Centre (OPC) to be located in Switzerland, and a command and control capability in Hong Kong to allow SWIFT’s operations to be run from Asia, as well as Europe and the US.

The messaging re-architecture will enable SWIFT to meet specific customer requirements: increase processing capacity, enhance resilience, reduce unit costs, improve commercial prospects and, by locating a second Operating Centre in Europe, also overcome data protection concerns.

Initially, SWIFT will create two message processing zones: European and Trans-Atlantic. SWIFT may extend beyond these two zones, if warranted by future commercial or operational drivers.

The new global OPC will serve as the companion for the existing European OPC to process and, where applicable, store messages for the European processing zone. This will ensure that intra-European messages remain in Europe. The new OPC will also serve as the companion to OPC US to process and store traffic for the Trans-Atlantic processing zone.

“Intra-zone messages will stay within their region of origin, thereby overcoming data protection concerns”, said SWIFT CEO Lázaro Campos. “For example, messages internal to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will be processed and, where applicable stored only at SWIFT’s two European Operating Centres.”

The choice of location for the new OPC followed a review of potential sites in Europe. Key considerations included the suitability of the infrastructure, the availability of skilled staff and appropriate data protection legislation, which Switzerland provides.

The initiative requires a one-off investment of EUR 150 million and will create approximately 50 jobs in SWIFT’s European and Asian operations. SWIFT expects the new European OPC to be operational by end-2009. SWIFT will enhance its facilities in Hong Kong to house its new Asian command and control capability.

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