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Swift System

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ammargharra
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the hebrew university of jerusalemthe school of business administration | S.W.I.F.T | Financial Institutions Management | Instructor: Prof. Eli Elyasiani | Ammar Gharra, Ronen Tzuri, ID | ‏14/07/2012 |

Sprint 2012 |

In these paper we discuss the orginis and the development of the Society of the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication which we call it SWIFT, the foundation, the infrastructure that its support, the alternative systems, and the role of Swift in war on terror and in sanctions on the Iranian Regime cause of it suspicious Nuclear program
What is Swift: The growth in the global trade, the development of capital market beside the banks system, adding to this the globalization process and the wide raise of the international institutions lead the banks all over the world to develop an efficient interbank infrastructure which allow them to made international payments more accurate and with less error and definitely secure.
Figure 1: Example of a payment Instruction trnaslated into a SWIFT message

The Swift is not a bank and even isn't a settlement institution, according to their website, Swift is a non-profit organization that connect all of its members together to exchange financial information securely and reliably. Swift enables the bank to lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminates inefficiencies from their operations. Swift doesn't hold any funds, and doesn't operate or manage any account for its customers, it's even doesn't store any financial information, it provides the secure exchange of financial data.
The Organization: The headquarter of Swift located in Belgium, so the whole system operate under the Belgium law, it is founded in 1973 and then contain only 239 members from 15 countries, and the number of messages they delivered in this year was zero, the first 4 years was dictated for developing the system, writing the rules that defines liabilities and responsibilities, the first message was sent by Belgium prince in 1977, Today the organizations have 10,097 live users from 212 countries, according to the 2011 annual report, they sent 4,431,099,899 message and have 22 operational center all over the world. The current CEO is Lazaro Campos whom join the organization in 1987 with positioning in Education and Standards, the Swift organizational structure equal to normal cooperative, the management have responsibilities toward the board of directors which consists from directors that represents the members (the banks), today the chairman of the board of directors is Yawar shah whom the COO in Citi bank.

The interbank telecommunication development through the last four decades 1973 | Swift is born, supported by 239 countries from 15 countries. | 1976 | After completing the rules that defines liabilities and responsibility, the developments reach its peak by opening the first operating center. | 1977 | The King of Belgium which then was the prince, sent the first message and the system start working, consisting from 518 banks from 22 countries. | 1980 | First Asian countries connect, the number of messages become close to 50 million per year. | 1987 | After installs a high-volume satellite that link between the operating centers to support the traffic growth, in 1987 Swift goes into the capital market by allowing dealers and brokers became from their members and allowing them using the network. | 1990s | The number of members exceeds the 5000, more than 100 countries and more than one billion of messages per years, Swift start to be the main infrastructure for interbank telecommunication, in 1999 its draw the line for the e-commerce strategy and adjusted the system for Euro changeover and the Y2k. | 2000s | the organizations reach the peak, more than 200 countries connected to the network, they upgraded the system for SWIFTNET which based on IP platform that replace the previous system. | 2011 | Swift has more than 10,000 financial institution from 210 countries, and 4,431,099,899 messages sent. |
Interbank telecommunications before the Swift: the first interbank telecommunication can be found from the first days of the telegraph, the ability of the last to transferred messages between to geographic region in a brief attract the banks to use it to reduce the difference in security prices, and to receive and send banks messaging which contained also payments order, the advance in the cable technology and telegraph beside the trans-atlantic cable and beginning of trans-Atlantic communication enable the banks to bulid and internal network between the headquarter and the branches, and a global network with other banks. The improvement in the communications technology beside the need of the banks for reliable, fast and effiecent communication system made the banks to adopt the next generation of telecommunication, which is the Telex. The telex is a teleprinter that use the telephone and the telegraphy existing infrastructure to deliver messages and to speak in the same time, the telex have a massive use almost in all the industries, and the bank sector saw in it a huge benefits. The telex network raised very fast from 30,000 subscribers in 1957 it reach 1 million subscribers in 1970s, it built the basis and shaped the core of messaging for the Swift system.

The start of Swift: The disadvantages of the telex and other telecommunication technology were the error probability, operational risk and the lack of unified language, the raise of international trade and growth of world economy after world war II increase the needs of reliable, efficient and unified telecommunication network, the breakthrough and the advance in the computing technology remove the technological barriers for this mission, in mid of 1960s major banks in Europe initiated a project to unified the interbank telecommunications, the project attracted banks from north America and London, on May 3rd , 1973, Swift was founded and as a diplomatic solution for the tension between London and New York, Swift Headquartered in Brussels, by the end of 1974 the core design was completed and they start to build the system. How it Works:
The Procedure Any financial institution that want to use the Swift Network it must connected to it as a member, there is a lot of messages types, depend on the payment type and the target bank and countries rule, the simple message, it FIN message which could done live between two financial institutions, when a customer want to make a transaction the bank will send a message to the target bank by using Swift network, the Swift will validate the message if its stand for Swift standard, Swift will sent the message for the target bank. After receiving the message and a confirmation, the Swift network will be out from the picture. The first bank already deposited the payment amount in the target bank's account. The target bank will apply the message and will deposit the required amount of money into the specific customer's account, there is not online money transferring, it just account balancing, the banks do not settle online every transaction.
The cost One of the advantages of the Swift network beside the secure network and the efficiency is the low cost, according to their pricing catalog , the cost annual is between 2,725 Euros and 19,400 euro annually, there a one-time fee for new customer that also have a range from 1525 euro to 50,000.

As it appear from the table above, the price of the service depend on the kit the financial institution decide to use, this decision come from the needs of the banks.

The Secure Connection:

1) SWIFT in Numbers a. Financial Statements b. Branches and Employers c. Statistics. 2) War on terror, and privacy controversy d. Restrictions e. Privacy valuations 3) Iran and SWIFT sanctions: f. The Causes g. The Effect 4) Summary

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