Russia offers to discuss BRICS prototype of SWIFT global system

Reuters/Leonhard Foeger
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has proposed a discussion about establishing an analogue to the SWIFT global network for transmission of financial information that processes $6 trillion worth of communiqués daily.

READ MORE: Russia gets seat on SWIFT board

The CBR hopes to cut the risks of possible disruptions.

"Seriously speaking, there is no analogue to SWIFT at the moment in the world, it is unique. The only topic that may be of interest to all of us within BRICS is to consider and talk over the possibility of setting up a system that would apply to the BRICS countries, used as a backup," said Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Olga Skorobogatova on Friday.

Russia got seat on the SWIFT board in March, despite numerous threats from the US and its allies to disconnect Russia from the system.

Skorobogatova added that some changes have to be made to the legislative framework of SWIFT to make the company ‘supranational,’ which would mean they wouldn’t be obliged to follow sanctions or restrictions imposed by others.

In 2014, EU officials discussed banning Russia from SWIFT as a form of sanctions for its position in the Ukrainian conflict. SWIFT said then that "it had no authority’" to make sanctions decisions.

READ MORE:SWIFT: 'No authority' to suspend Russia, Israel from intl payments over sanctions

SWIFT is an international system of transmission of financial transactions. It has more than 10,000 of the world’s largest organizations in 210 countries as clients. Every year SWIFT processes about 1.8 billion financial messages.

SWIFT is used in Russia by about 600 Russian banks and companies, which account for about 80 percent of payments in the country. Russia is the world’s second biggest SWIFT-user after the United States.