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SWIFT guiding principles for screening ISO 20022 endorsed by the Wolfsberg Group

SWIFT guiding principles for screening ISO 20022 endorsed by the Wolfsberg Group

Financial Crime Compliance,
10 November 2021 | 3 min read

Recently published by SWIFT and already endorsed by the Payments Market Practice Group, these screening guidelines have now been supported by the Wolfsberg Group too.

Last month, we released guidelines on how compliance teams around the world can harness ISO 20022’s richer, more structured data to effectively and efficiently screen payments messages. Having already been endorsed by the Payments Market Practice Group (PMPG), the Wolfsberg Group has now also recognised these guidelines as a positive step towards more effective compliance processes, giving their endorsement too. 

“The adoption of ISO 20022 enables improved adherence to the Payments Transparency Principles,” says Alan Ketley, Executive Secretary for the Wolfsberg Group. “The screening guidelines are a valuable asset for compliance teams within financial institutions that are in the process of adopting ISO 20022 and the targeted screening approach means that institutions can adopt a more focused and risk-based screening approach.”

resource
Guiding principles for screening ISO 20022 V1

About the Wolfsberg Group

The Wolfsberg Group is an association of thirteen global banks that aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies. Materials published by the Wolfsberg Group are designed to provide financial institutions with an industry perspective on effective financial crime risk management.

Enabling smarter screening

In collaboration with the banking community, SWIFT is undertaking a programme of initiatives to ensure the compliance ecosystem can fully benefit from the adoption of ISO 20022. This includes designing and implementing screening guidelines and data quality principles for ISO 20022 through industry collaboration.

To determine what these ISO 20022 guidelines should look like, 14 global and regional banks took part in a series of workshops, assessing the message structure in order to define which ISO 20022 elements should or should not be screened; how to best match these elements against sanctions lists and; which data quality principles should be observed to support fast, effective and efficient screening.

ISO messaging provides more structured and granular information than FIN equivalents. This ability to include additional information has created an opportunity for the industry to re-think existing approaches to screening. This screening document examines those approaches and proposes guiding principles for effective and efficient screening of ISO 20022 payments.

Benefits for compliance professionals

Joachim Brietzke, Head of Transaction Screening and AFC List Management at Deutsche Bank and member of the Wolfsberg Group sees the advantages for compliance professionals who embrace the full potential of ISO 20022’s richer data: “Institutions that quickly adopt ISO 20022 in their front and back offices will be the ones that are able to benefit from its richer data the most. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with colleagues and peers from across the industry to agree on best practice guidelines and elevate the need for structured information in cross-border payments.”

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