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3 Jun, 2024 19:11

Russia and China ‘close’ to replacing SWIFT — business regulator

The two countries have been promoting their own domestic payment systems as a reliable alternative
Russia and China ‘close’ to replacing SWIFT — business regulator

Moscow and Beijing are developing a system of settlements which could allow cross-border transactions without the use of the Western financial messaging system SWIFT, Russian Presidential Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov has revealed.

Addressing the results of the “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era” international conference held in Moscow last week, Titov told TASS the two countries have accelerated efforts to move away from SWIFT to trade using their respective national currencies.

“Many regional banks are already replacing it (SWIFT) with the Chinese analogue CIPS,” the official said on Monday, adding that the Chinese system’s use for payments in yuan will continue to expand.

Titov is also the Russian Chairman of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development.

Moscow has been promoting its own domestic payment system as a reliable alternative to SWIFT since many of the country’s banks were disconnected from the Western financial network in 2022.

Russia’s SPFS interbank messaging system was created in 2014, and functions like SWIFT. It ensures the secure transfer of financial messages between banks both inside and outside the country.

In January, the Bank of Russia said that 557 banks and foreign organizations from 20 countries had received access to SPFS.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly called for new, independent financial platforms for international settlements, stressing that the global economy should be more open and unbiased.

According to Titov, the decision to switch to mostly rubles and yuan in transactions has led to a strong boost in Russia-China trade. The volume of bilateral trade in 2023 reached $240 billion, with Russian imports from China jumping nearly 47% to $111 billion, and exports to the Asian country growing by 12.7%, to $129 billion.

Titov also talked about increased investment cooperation, claiming that several dozen investment projects have been implemented in Russia and China through the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).