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SWIFT enhances Sanctions Testing service with new performance measurement capabilities

SWIFT enhances Sanctions Testing service with new performance measurement capabilities

3 March 2015

New Peer Assessment service helps financial institutions compare the performance of their sanctions filters against those of similar institutions.

Brussels, 3 March 2015 – SWIFT announces the addition of Peer Assessment to its Sanctions Testing service. SWIFT’s Sanctions Testing helps financial institutions optimise the performance of their transaction and customer screening systems by analysing whether their systems are operating correctly and are able to detect illicit transactions or sanctioned customers.

SWIFT’s Peer Assessment service has been developed together with Sanctions Testing customers as part of SWIFT’s community-driven approach to providing financial crime compliance services. This optional service enhances SWIFT’s Sanctions Testing offering by enabling financial institutions to compare the performance of their sanctions filters against those of other participating institutions. SWIFT’s Peer Assessment service uses a performance baseline of aggregated data from other Sanctions Testing users with similar business characteristics. The baseline will be extended and evolve over time as banks join the service, and the community-driven initiative broadens the scope of performance assessment and operational practices.

“Many financial institutions are already using SWIFT’s Sanctions Testing to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their sanctions compliance systems,” says Tony Wicks, Sanctions Testing Product Manager, SWIFT. “The addition of Peer Assessment provides further transparency by enabling banks to see how their systems perform against other banks with similar business characteristics. It will also contribute to the development of market practices.”

Launched in 2012, SWIFT’s Sanctions Testing checks transaction and client filter effectiveness for exact “hits” as well as “fuzzy” matches – names that are similar to, but not exactly the same as those on sanctions lists. It enables users to integrate regular testing and tuning into their sanctions compliance processes and allows them to create a strategy for enhanced efficiency and performance. It is already used by over 20 institutions, which account for 35 percent of message traffic on the SWIFT network, as well as major insurance providers. SWIFT provides group and regional license options, along with assessment and consultancy services.

For more information about SWIFT’s Sanctions Testing, visit the Sanctions Testing section.

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 over 200 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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