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SWIFT AGM overwhelmingly approves new corporate category

Facilitates corporate access to multiple banks

BRUSSELS, 15 June 2006—SWIFT announced today shareholders overwhelmingly approved by 98.6% the addition of corporates as a new participant category at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Corporates have had access to SWIFT since 1998 through Treasury Counterparty and Member Administered Closed User Group (MA-CUG) models. Today, over 120 corporates are connected to SWIFT via 100 banks.

The new category will enable qualifying corporates to join a single closed user group (CUG) containing many financial institutions, where corporate-to-financial institution SWIFTNet messaging and file transfer are supported. This improved corporate access process will enable better standardisation and interaction with multiple banks.

Johan Kestens, Head of Marketing and Member of the Executive Committee, SWIFT commented, “Corporate access to SWIFT is a strategic driver for SWIFT 2010 and it puts financial institutions in a far better position to meet customer expectations. We are confident the new category will offer both banks and corporates alike enhanced connectivity aspects for the corporate-to-financial institution offering including network, security, messaging services and standards.”
Yawar Shah, Chairman of the SWIFT Board and Chairman of the Corporate Access Group (CAG), added, “The addition of the new SWIFT corporate access model is based on the unanimous recommendation of the Board and CAG to offer a more simplified participation process for corporates. Value-added services, such as cash management or trade services, will remain the remit of financial institutions which will develop, market and support their own solutions.”

To qualify, a corporate must be listed on a regulated stock exchange in an FATF (Financial Action Task Force) member country. The MA-CUG and Treasury counterparty models remain available for all, in particular those corporates who do not meet these criteria. In addition, corporate participants will be users without the option to purchase SWIFT shares or exercise voting rights. Corporate-to-corporate messaging is not allowed.

On the financial institution side, any SWIFT member shareholder or sub-member can join the new closed user group and interact with participating corporate entities of their choice. This is entirely optional, so if a financial institution is not interested in getting involved, no change is necessary and all other SWIFT services remain in place.