Corresponding letter was sent by the organization to Georgy Luntovsky. Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, said Executive Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Murichev at the XII International Bank Forum held in Sochi today.
“Russia” Association and Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs prepared their propositions and sent them to Mr. Luntovsky. “We must organize that structure (local Russian counterpart of SWIFT) independently as a legal entity, founders of which should include not only financial institutions but also subjects of agriculture activity itself. We already have such solutions on the market, we have to make the best use of them”, — claimed Murichev.
He remarked that this decision is a hard one, but one has to bear in mind that “if the political situation deteriorates, possible sanctions can ensue”.
Speaking of the requirements for the new system Murichev named three of them — reliability, stability and confidentiality, — stressing the latter. As of now, he said, Russian payments information is accessible in Brussels, whereas China “does not allow itself to do so and created a local system”.
No other details of the proposed scheme were revealed.
Previously, referring to the source in the British government, Bloomberg informed that at the Brussels Summit Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron is allegedly looking to discuss with EU leaders blocking Russia’s access to SWIFT as a part of the new round of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
The information was not confirmed.
Similar step was taken in March 2012 against Iran under the fierce pressure, particularly from the US. This step became unprecedented for a 40-year history of SWIFT, which is basically a private institution.
As previously mentioned by TASS, the Bank of Russia and relevant ministries have already drafted a law regarding creation of SWIFT counterpart in Russia. According to Alexey Moiseev, Deputy of the Russian Finance Minister, “the draft law will be greenlit when it is clear that the Central Bank is ready technology-wise to make a carryover to the Russian processing”. Moiseev believes such a system must have a legal entity registered in Russia and conform to the requirements set forth by the Central Bank.
SWIFT is a Brussels-based system. The company is regulated by the Belgium law; therefore it is obliged to comply with EU decisions. In March 2012 EU historically included a SWIFT access limitation as a part of sanctions against Iran, prohibiting providers of financial telecommunications to serve banks of the republic.
Back then SWIFT admonished that similar measures had a negative effect, which drew the financial organization in a series of political debates.
SWIFT is a Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. SWIFT transmits 1.8 billion messages annually and processes over $6 trillion worth of payments and binds together over 10 thousand financial organizations in 210 countries. Under SWIFT By-Laws each country organizes SWIFT National Member Group and SWIFT National User Group uniting all SWIFT users. Such a group in Russia is called Rosswift (Russian National SWIFT Association). SWIFT gave no comments regarding the Bloomberg messages.