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SWIFT enriches KYC Registry information with new Adverse Media service

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  • Partnership with Dow Jones provides KYC Registry users with unlimited access to news and regulator content

Brussels – SWIFT announces the launch of KYC Adverse Media, a news service integrated into its KYC Registry, a centralised repository that maintains a standardised set of information about financial institutions required for KYC compliance. In partnership with Dow Jones, SWIFT will now make high-quality Dow Jones Risk & Compliance data available to the more than 2,500 correspondent banks and funds players that are already using The KYC Registry as part of their know your customer compliance programmes.

Financial institutions are increasingly being expected by regulators to use ‘negative news’ coverage as part of a risk-based approach to customer due diligence for financial crime compliance. The KYC Adverse Media service provides Registry users with access to this type of curated content from more than 32,000 news publications worldwide, as well as regulatory notifications. The new service complements banks’ self-reported, SWIFT-verified KYC data and documents with high-quality news content dating back to 2012. Articles are linked directly to the relevant legal entities in the KYC Registry, enabling users to view at a glance what news coverage, if any, is available for each Registry member.

Bart Claeys, Head of KYC Compliance Services, SWIFT, says: “KYC compliance is increasingly complex, with many banks being expected to review negative news and regulatory notices as part of their customer due diligence processes. SWIFT is pleased to partner with Dow Jones to provide every KYC Registry user with unlimited access to high-quality, up-to-date news and regulatory content. The addition of KYC Adverse Media is the next step in our strategic roadmap to deliver cost-effective, community inspired financial crime compliance services that help our members optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of their compliance programmes.”

Dow Jones’ Adverse Media data includes information covering companies from every country in the world that have received negative news coverage for regulatory, competitive, financial, production, environmental, and social or labour related issues. Researchers enrich listings with additional detail, such as names in the native language script and corporate identifiers, as well as cross-references to people associated with such companies, to ensure that data is as accurate and complete as possible.

UBI Banca was one of several KYC Registry members to pilot the KYC Adverse Media service. Marco Ligonzo, Head of Know Your Customer Due Diligence – Correspondent Banking, at UBI Banca, says: “KYC Adverse Media nicely complements the information in The KYC Registry, delivers excellent value for money, and provides a valuable resource for anyone performing customer due diligence on another financial institution. The ability for banks to access this information through The KYC Registry helps to increase efficiency and transparency, and supports compliance with regulatory expectations. We greatly appreciate being one of the very first banks to use this valuable new service.”

The searchable database also provides access to news content about banks that have not yet joined the Registry. In addition, although banks retain full control over which Registry members can view their official KYC data and documentation, KYC Adverse Media content is open to all KYC Registry users for optimal transparency.

“Dow Jones Risk and Compliance and the KYC Registry are a natural fit, and we are confident this partnership will deliver significant value to the banking community” said Joel Lange, Managing Director at Dow Jones Risk and Compliance. “As regulation grows ever more complex, global banks have to trust in the quality and completeness of data used for KYC decision-making. Working with our Adverse Media data will give KYC Registry users unique access to structured profiles covering 17 negative news topics that matter to global banks.”

The KYC Adverse Media service is available now, with a range of service enhancements to follow later in 2016. These will include giving banks the option of attaching their official statements to KYC Adverse Media content about their institution, further increasing transparency and ease of use related to KYC compliance and customer due diligence activities.

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