Hong Kong banking community chooses SWIFTNet as primary messaging platform

Sibos, Sydney - 9 October 2006

SWIFT extends reach in Asia-Pacific

SWIFT announced today the Board of Directors of Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have chosen SWIFTNet as their messaging platform to replace their existing proprietary RTGS network.

The Hong Kong banking community’s move mirrors those of leading RTGS systems around the world including PDS (Australia), BIREL, CHAPS, CLS, CRI, RTGSplus and Target that have decided to implement SWIFTNet as their platform of choice.

Eddie Yue, Executive Director of Monetary Management and Infrastructure Department at HKMA, explains, “Building an efficient and robust financial infrastructure is essential in maintaining financial stability in general and more so in Hong Kong because of its complexity relating to multi-currency and multi-dimensional services. In a rapidly changing financial services environment around the globe, it is absolutely imperative to adopt a global standard in order to stay competitive and retain Hong Kong as the financial hub in the region.”

“We chose SWIFTNet for our primary messaging platform because of its business value and proven technical excellence. Hong Kong will be able to attract and expand new business domestically as well as overseas as access to the RTGS systems is more open and standardised,” Yue adds.

The move to SWIFTNet will make use of SWIFTNet FIN and FINCopy services for transactions input and SWIFTNet messaging services for real-time query/response and interactive functions.

The global trend for market infrastructures to adopt the SWIFTNet platform started in Europe with Bank of England’s NewCHAPS and Germany’s RTGSplus followed by Banca d’Italia’s BIREL and CLS. Australia and New Zealand have been using FINCopy services for almost a decade, while Thailand and the Philippines have more recently based their new generation of RTGS systems on the SWIFTNet messaging platform. Singapore is also scheduled to go live this year with a full suite of SWIFTNet products and services.

Lázaro Campos, Head of Banking Industry Division, SWIFT, adds, “We are very pleased the Hong Kong banking community has recognised the value of SWIFTNet for cost savings, interoperability, greater STP and enhanced security and resilience. Their decision together with similar market infrastructure developments in the Asia-Pacific region is tangible proof that there is significant value in one platform and one set of standards. SWIFT is committed to providing that solution.”

Implementation has started and industry-wide testing for HKICL and HKMA is scheduled for the end of 2007 and is expected to go live in Q1 2008.

IBM as prime contractor, together with LogicaCMG as the application provider have been selected as the vendor consortium to develop the new middle-tier system that will link with the SWIFTNet services.

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