Banks called to account over corporate servicing

Banks called to account over corporate servicing

Corporates are demanding that banks do more to standardise, streamline and support access to interbank Swift services for companies of all sizes, not just the big multi-nationals.

Speaking at a Sibos plenary session Virgin Atlantic group treasurer Alex Harris said as well as wanting guidance, corporates wanted to work in collaboration with banks. But banks, he avered, are "reacting very slowly" to the needs of corporate clients, and especially to the requirements of mid-mized firms.

Although Swift has moved to ease barriers to entry to the network, the corporate access model currently in place is "weighted heavily in favour of the very large multinationals", said Harris.

Virgin Atlantic is connecting to Swift as part of an initiative to centralise and consolidate procurement-to-pay processes. However as a subsidiary of a larger group it does not qualify for connection to Swift's Score service and so has to connect to the network by joining a member-administrated closed user group (MA-CUG).

But Harris said banks had shown "no desire to streamline and standardise the MA-CUG model and no standard interface for FileAct messages", and called on Swift member banks to open the Score platform to companies of all sizes.

Harris also called on banks to do more to educate corporates about the benefits of Swift.

Speaking at the same session, Paul Galant, CEO of global transaction services at Citi, agreed that banks need to make products easier to use and focus on plans to deliver improved services to corporate clients.

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