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Frequently asked questions about SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening

Table of contents

Which organisations will benefit most from using the service?

Medium-sized and smaller banks in particular value the ready-to-use, no additional footprint, no maintenance benefits of Sanctions Screening. But larger institutions also face operating cost pressures and many choose the service over costly in-house systems. Corporations and other organisations that make and receive high volumes of payments, as well as central banks, are also users of Sanctions Screening.

How can I be sure a managed service is secure and resilient?

Sanctions Screening is hosted in SWIFT’s operating centre, using private and secure cloud technology. Security and data protection have been at the core of SWIFT’s business for more than 40 years. SWIFT maintains appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect data against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access. SWIFT has controls in place that are designed to ensure adequate security, covering asset management, human resources security, physical security, access control and application security, system operations and management, networks and communications, security incident management, business continuity management etc. Its corporate security policy and standards are based on principles of ISO/IEC 27002:2005 (Code of Practice for Information-Security Management). SWIFT reviews its security measures on a regular basis.

What about data privacy issues?

In addition to security, confidentiality of data is a key priority for SWIFT. Sanctions Screening follows the same data privacy controls as all other SWIFT services.

Which lists are covered?

We maintain up-to-date more than 30 sanctions lists from all the major regulatory bodies, including OFAC, United Nations, Europe and HMT. You can also add your own private lists.

Can I screen trade finance messages as well as payments?

Yes, you can screen any structured financial message, including FIN Payment and Trade category messages.

Choose the Copy option set-up if you only need to screen FIN messages, or the Connector option to screen all messages, including SEPA, ISO 20022, Fedwire and other non-SWIFT messages.

How easy is it to get Sanctions Screening up and running?

Sanctions Screening is a fully-managed service with no additional infrastructure required on your side. You’ll need to map your requirements, decide on workflows and identify your team before you place an order. Then, once you’re signed up, there’s minimal configuration needed to get fully operational. It’s as simple as that.

Check our handy 3-step guide.

3-step guide to Sanctions Screening

Why should I choose this service over other screening services or my current set-up?

Because our service is used by many institutions, we can spread the high costs of subscribing to and maintaining lists and investing in the best filtering technology. To provide added reassurance, we have commissioned regular independent reviews of the effectiveness of our Sanctions Screening service. The results of these reviews are available to service users.