Bolero and Swift agree trade services pact

Bolero and Swift agree trade services pact

Internet-based trade finance utility Bolero has brokered an agreement with financial co-operative Swift to use the FileAct network for corporate-to-bank messaging.

Luc Volckaert, CTO at Bolero says the company will enhance its core messaging system to seamlessly connect with the Swift network: "By providing co-existence with Swift we extend the reach of the Bolero channel as well as offering further choice for a bank in deciding how best to inter-operate with their existing back-office solutions."

The agreement also calls for the two communities to work together to help promote the creation of ISO 20022 standards for corporate-bank trade finance. Existing Bolero features, including mapping to external local formats, or bank back-office formats, will be developed under the standard.

Relationships between Bolero and Swift have been less than cordial in the past. The opening of the interbank network to corporates and Swift's development of its own Trade Services Utility programme has increasingly been seen as a source of friction.

Arthur Vonchek, CEO of Bolero, says the pact with Swift is a logical consequence of the need to provide co-existence and choice for both banks and corporate customers.

"In the same way that mobile and fixed line telecommunications co-exist in order that phone calls can be made from mobile or fixed line phones regardless of the network or type of phone used by the recipient, this inter-operability between Bolero and Swift will allow banks and corporates to extend their multi-bank trade finance reach without the need to pre-determine the network preference of the counterparty," he says. "As a direct result corporates and banks will not be restricted to working only with counterparties on the same network."

The move was welcomed by both bank and corporate users of Bolero.

Tony Sacre, general manager, Global Transaction Services, Commonwealth Bank. says of the deal: "We believe that this will lead to enhanced, safer, and higher quality messaging occurring between banks and corporates, and we welcome any initiative that widens the number of counterparties able to communicate efficiently in the trade finance marketplace."

Swift could not be reached for comment.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 30 March, 2011, 14:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Is this a story from March 2011, or March 2001? Wasn't Bolero a SWIFT initiative in trade finance from the early 2000s that was re-sprayed and re-launched by SWIFT as the Trade Service Utility (TSU)? Or is TSU a ringer of Bolero, in other words some of the components were stripped off it, combined with other pieces, and launched as a new model? It is all most beguiling. TSU claims to be able to do everything that Bolero claims this deal will enable it to do so which is the engine inside the other?

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 30 March, 2011, 14:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As far as we understand it, the TSU was initially intended to deal with bank-to-bank elements of trade finance, while Bolero managed the bank-to-corporate side.

Historically, Bolero acted as a supplier of technology and supported the initial development of the TSU. Before the TSU service became commercially available, Swift took full responsibility for the application and all future support, maintenance and enhancements, and Bolero was effectively sidelined. At the same time, Swift muddied the waters further by opening bank-sponsored corporate access to the network.

We're still not entirely clear about the relationship going forward, which is why we asked Swift for a comment. We're still waiting to hear back from them.