The head of SWIFT’s user conference, Sibos, Kris Hendrieckx, has announced that Sibos 2015 will be held in Singapore. He said that there are at least 10 criteria that SWIFT uses to choose the location for Sibos and that Singapore won out because it scored highly for the city’s reputation as a financial centre, its accessibility, hotel availability and the conference facility itself.
While the Sibos 2015 event in Singapore is scheduled for October, Hendrieckx said that the exact week has not yet been finalised. “We expect around 7,000 participants,” he added.
The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) director, Ong-Ang Ai Boon, welcomed the decision, saying: “We sought for SWIFT to hold its conference here. Singapore is an international financial centre and the ABS wants the thought leaders who attend the conference to get together in our city.” Sibos was last held in Singapore in 2003, after cancelling the event in 2001 due to the tragedy on 11 September.
The Singapore event will be held at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. John Mims, the senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Sands Corp, said that the hotel’s green initiatives and its integrated facilities were important factors in the selection, adding “Sands is delighted the event will be held at the hotel”.
Analysis: Europe left waiting
After Osaka this year, Sibos will next be held in Dubai in 2013 and Boston in 2014. With the 2015 venue now confirmed as Singapore, this means that it will be six years before SWIFT’s annual jamboree returns to Europe, where it was last held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2010.
Sibos has traditionally rotated its venues on a tri-annual basis, with Europe, North America and Asia sharing the show among themselves. With the rise of the Middle-East, however, Dubai has broken this cycle and Brazil will perhaps do so again in the near future, having been a strong contender in recent times. We keep hearing that the axis of the economic world is shifting east and south and this perhaps proves it.
By Neil Ainger