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RMA and RMA Plus: managing correspondent connections

RMA and RMA Plus: managing correspondent connections

Financial Crime Compliance,
10 July 2018 | 3 min read

This SWIFT paper explains how you can better understand, manage and mitigate operational, compliance and fraud risks in line with industry recommendations

Managing correspondent connections effectively is more important than ever, given the backdrop of stricter regulations and enforcement actions, and the threat of fraudulent transactions.

SWIFT customer security programme

As part of its Customer Security Programme, SWIFT launched a campaign to raise awareness for existing security features in its interface products. The campaign focussed in particular on raising awareness for SWIFT’s Relationship Management Application (RMA) and 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) in SWIFT products.

SWIFT’s RMA plays an important part in supporting communication between different financial institutions. The RMA is a SWIFT-mandated filter that enables financial institutions to define which counterparties can send them FIN messages. Any unwanted traffic is blocked at the sender level, reducing the operational risks associated with handling unwanted messages and providing a first line of defence against fraud.

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RMA Plus, the more granular version of RMA, goes one step further by letting institutions specify which message type(s) they want to receive from, and send to, each of their counterparties. By giving greater control over individual relationships, RMA Plus can facilitate new business opportunities which might otherwise be avoided due to risk and regulatory concerns.

A guidance paper published by the Wolfsberg Group in May 2016, “Wolfsberg Guidance on SWIFT Relationship Management Application (RMA) Due Diligence”, highlights the link between using SWIFT RMA and conducting due diligence.

The Wolfsberg paper notes that financial institutions “should incorporate RMA due diligence standards into their Financial Crime/AML/KYC programmes”, citing a number of principles which should be considered both for customer and non-customer RMA relationships.

SWIFT’s Relationship Management Application (RMA) enables financial institutions to define which counterparties can send them FIN messages and blocks unwanted message traffic at the sender, providing a first line of defence against fraudulent transactions.

How SWIFT can help

SWIFT offers a number of products and services to help financial institutions optimise the use of RMA and RMA Plus in order to better understand, manage and mitigate operational, compliance and fraud risks.

SWIFT Compliance Analytics gives banks a powerful analytics tool to obtain a global overview of their RMA and RMA Plus authorisations, with statuses and trends. It helps banks identify potentially risky correspondent relationships and supports effective, targeted compliance and risk-management activities.

RMA/RMA Plus consultancy provides global lists of RMA and RMA Plus authorisations and related message traffic information to support decision-making about correspondent relationships, and assistance with updating or terminating such authorisations. It is a fast, cost-effective approach to ‘clean up’ RMA and RMA Plus authorisations that may not have kept pace with evolving business relationships and compliance practices.

The KYC Registry provides a global source of KYC and adverse media information on correspondent banks and funds players, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced effort and cost for KYC and CDD compliance activities.

Download the SWIFT info paper on RMA and RMA Plus for more information on how to use RMA and RMA Plus to protect and support your compliance and business priorities.

RMA and RMA Plus: managing your correspondent connections