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Bank of the Philippine Islands adopts SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening service

Bank of the Philippine Islands adopts SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening service

18 November 2015

Increasing demand in Asia Pacific helps drive global adoption of Sanctions Screening service.

Hong Kong, 18 November 2014 - SWIFT announces today that Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has become the 250th customer to subscribe to its Sanctions Screening service. BPI is the first Philippine bank to sign up for Sanctions Screening, which has gained rapid global acceptance since its introduction as the first solution in SWIFT's financial crime compliance services portfolio.

Sanctions Screening provides cost-effective, real-time message screening against international sanctions lists without the need for institutions to manage their own screening infrastructure or perform their own sanctions lists updates. SWIFT manages the service, hosts the screening engine and provides ongoing sanctions list updates. Users' transactions are automatically routed to a screening engine which checks them against the banks' selected sanctions lists. The service covers the majority of the messages used in cross-border financial transactions and will be extended to support all message formats in 2015.

Since its launch in 2012, SWIFT's Sanctions Screening service has been rapidly adopted in over 90 countries, with more than 250 customers including 15 central banks. In Asia Pacific, there are currently 60 financial institutions using this service with more new customers in the pipeline.

Edgardo Madrilejo, Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of BPI comments: "Regulators are putting more pressure on financial institutions to ensure strict compliance with global sanctions requirements. As our business continues to grow in Asia and beyond, it is important that we are meeting full sanctions obligations efficiently and effectively. We chose SWIFT's Sanctions Screening because it is cost-effective, easy to use and reliable, which will help us address the increasing operational challenges relating to sanctions compliance."

Zelda Anthony, Head of ASEAN, SWIFT, says: "For the past 30 years, banks and corporates in the Philippines have been adopting the SWIFT platform, products and services for maximum effectiveness, resilience and security. We are pleased that Bank of the Philippine Islands, being the first and a leader in the local banking community, has chosen our Sanctions Screening service, and look forward to strengthening our support for the Philippines financial system."

SWIFT has been operating in Asia Pacific for over 30 years, starting in Hong Kong and Singapore. Since 2005, SWIFT has opened three additional sales and support offices in Asia, bringing the total number of offices to nine across the region. This includes a Control Centre in Hong Kong and a corporate services hub that opened in Kuala Lumpur in 2013. 

About SWIFT's financial crime compliance services portfolio
SWIFT's Compliance Services unit manages a growing portfolio of financial crime compliance services in the areas of sanctions, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).  The portfolio includes Sanctions Screening and Sanctions Testing services, Compliance Analytics and The KYC Registry. For more information, visit the Compliance Services on

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,500 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 215 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

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