SWIFT and ICC collaborate to drive sustainability in trade finance
SWIFT’s KYC Registry will become the first global utility to integrate the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Sustainable Trade Finance Guidelines, making it easier for financial institutions to identify environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in their supply chains.
“Never before have environmental and sustainability practices had a more significant bearing on the financial decisions made by consumers, investors, corporates and financial institutions alike,” said Bart Claeys, Head of Data and Analytics Products Strategy at SWIFT.
“This has led to a huge increase in demand for ESG due diligence which has, due to a lack of standardisation, been difficult to provide. By integrating the ICC’s Sustainable Trade Finance Guidelines into our KYC Registry, SWIFT has made it much easier, promoting transparency and helping to drive sustainability in trade finance.”
Standardising the KYC process
Established in 2014, SWIFT’s KYC Registry is a secure global platform which helps standardise and streamline the due diligence process. To date, more than 6,000 institutions are using the KYC Registry to both publish their KYC data and receive information from their correspondents. The Registry was extended to SWIFT’s corporate customers in late 2019 to help simplify the KYC process between banks and corporates.
The Customer Due Diligence Guidelines were developed by the ICC Banking Commission’s Working Group on Sustainable Trade Finance after extensive consultation with its members as well as selected National Committees, and validation by the Executive Committee. The ICC’s due diligence guidelines cover several key areas including sustainability commitments, capacity and track record, supply chain practices and commodities.
What others are saying
Andrew Wilson, Permanent Observer to the United Nations at ICC - “The integration of the ICC Sustainable Trade Finance Guidelines into SWIFT’s KYC Registry is a great show of progress towards embedding sustainability in trade finance transactions. We are delighted to have been able to partner with SWIFT to mainstream ESG considerations into customer due diligence processes. Enabling alignment of financing with global sustainability objectives is a top-order priority for ICC – not least in light of lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis.”
Nigel Beck, Global Head of Sustainable Finance & ESG Advisory at Standard Bank Group - “The integration of the ICC’s Customer Due Diligence Guidelines into SWIFT’s KYC Registry is testament to the ongoing work by the ICC Sustainable Trade Finance working group. This first step is a critical success in practically demonstrating the growing importance and focus placed on sustainable finance globally.”
Roberto Leva, Relationship Manager at Asia Development Bank’s Trade and Supply Chain Program and Co-head of ICC Sustainable Trade Finance Working Group - “The collaboration with the SWIFT KYC Registry has created a new industry standard for the collection of KYC and ESG information. This allows the banking industry to stay ahead of the curve by showing a proactive approach on a topic such as sustainability, which is due to receive more and more attention in the years to come.”
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in Press releases
Currently, international trade relies on billions of paper documents and antiquated laws which date back to the sixteenth century. An ordinary trade transaction involves up to 27 documents, can take three months and can cost businesses up to £80,000 – creating an administrative nightmare and keeping costs unsustainably high for SMEs.
According to new research from International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), digitalising trade would drive SME growth and put a rocket under the economic recovery from Covid.
Private sector action to reverse the loss of biodiversity is “absolutely fundamental” to the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery, a new cross-business forum will warn today.
bp plc, Barratt Developments plc, Skanska, and Balfour Beatty are among the founding companies of the UK Business & Biodiversity Forum (UKBBF), which has been set up ahead of the United Nations’ COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow this November and the UN COP15 Biodiversity conference in Kunming, China in May.