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30 Jan, 2024 15:11

More countries doubting SWIFT – Nabiullina  

The dollar-based international financial system is becoming “risky,” the head of Russia’s central bank says
More countries doubting SWIFT – Nabiullina  

More and more countries are looking for alternatives to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging system, the head of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, told RIA Novosti in an interview on Tuesday.  

She discussed the growing concerns among businesses and nations “interested in the development of economic, trade and investment relations” about how the existing dollar-based institutions work.   

“Risks of using the established international payment infrastructure have emerged, and many countries are thinking about alternatives such as their own options for cross-border payment mechanisms,” Nabiullina said.

The head of Russia’s central bank earlier identified restrictions on international payments as being among the most “painful” sanctions imposed by Western countries over the Ukraine conflict.   

Since Russia’s key banks were disconnected from SWIFT in 2022, Russia and many of its trading partners have intensified efforts to reduce exposure to the Western financial system. Banks and businesses have sought to use alternative financial and banking platforms, such as non-SWIFT money-messaging systems, and also to replace the dollar and euro with national currencies in trade settlements.   

Russia had been aware of the risk of eventually being disconnected from SWIFT since 2014, when the first sanctions began to appear, and had started developing its own national payment system, called the SPFS. It can be used by banks both domestically and outside the country. Earlier this month, Russia’s central bank reported that 557 banks and companies from 20 countries had joined the Russian alternative to SWIFT.

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