18 May 2017

Gottfried Leibbrandt speaks at Bundesbank symposium

Bundesbank’s 2017 Payment Traffic Symposium brings together financial industry leaders and policy makers

On 18 May, SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt spoke at the German Bundesbank’s Payment Traffic Symposium (Zahlungsverkehrssymposium) in Frankfurt. Other speakers at the event included Dr. Jens Weidmann (President of the German Bundesbank), Carl Ludwig Thiele (Member of the Board of the German Bundesbank), Dr. Andreas Martin (Member of the Board of Managing Directors, National Association of German Cooperative Banks), Dr. Joachim Schmalzl (Executive Board Member of the German Savings Banks Association), and Head of the Markets & Initiatives Group at SWIFT, Christian Kothe, as well as other industry representatives and researchers.

The 2017 symposium was titled "Payment traffic and securities settlement in Germany in 2017” and looked at the latest payments processing trends, challenges and opportunities. Cyber security and regulation featured prominently in the programme.

Leibbrandt’s speech drew parallels between historic bank robberies and cybercrime, which is affecting the financial industry today. Leibbrandt explained: “The cyber-crimes – and more specifically the cyber thefts – that we see today are simply the digital application of longstanding analogue methods of achieving the same ends. [….] Input fraud can occur at any weakly protected input point – at any institution, at any time.”

He went on to present what SWIFT is doing in the framework of the Customer Security Programme (CSP) to help protect the global financial industry. This includes helping customers to protect their own environments and to look at their transaction flows, as well as facilitating information sharing. Leibbrandt said: “This program has been up and running for a year now, and has already had tangible impact. Thanks to the information sharing, we now have much better visibility on these types of attacks. […] So while I will not declare victory, we are seeing real impact from our program.”

Leibbrandt added: “The correspondent banking system includes all banks, domestic and international – many of whom are not connected to SWIFT. Securing this ecosystem requires taking a holistic view across the whole chain, with special care for the interconnections and handovers as these can offer ‘chinks in the armour’ that the bad guys exploit.”

The correspondent banking system includes all banks, domestic and international – many of whom are not connected to SWIFT. Securing this ecosystem requires taking a holistic view across the whole chain, with special care for the interconnections and handovers as these can offer ‘chinks in the armour’ that the bad guys exploit.

Gottfried Leibbrandt, SWIFT CEO

SWIFT’s Christian Kothe joined a panel on SEPA 2.0 and plans to establish a common market for digital payments in Europe.

The Deutsche Bundesbank's Payment Traffic Symposium is an annual event, which brings together high-ranking speakers from the financial and academic world, as well as representatives from central banks.

Extended reading

CSP

Customer Security Programme (CSP)

Reinforcing the security of the global banking system

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