Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL) has signed up to deploy Swift's new Market Infrastructure Resiliency Service (MIRS), which provides a backup to the territory's real time gross settlement (RTGS) system in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
MIRS provides a third line of support to RTGS operators experiencing problems with first and second line back-up systems. It stores data independently and securely, while enabling effective retrieval once business operations are resumed.
Swift has provided the financial messaging platform for Hong Kong's Clearing House Automated Transfer System (Chats) since 2009. The new MIRS business continuity service is expected to go live at the end of 2016.
Esmond Lee, executive director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), says: "We must stay vigilant in ensuring that our current financial infrastructure will continue to support the banking and financial sectors in Hong Kong even in extreme scenarios. I am confident that MIRS will add to its strengths."
Central Banks, as operators of RTGS systems, are actively evaluating their infrastructures' resiliency requirements to combat the threats from localised disruptions - such as those resulting from unexpected extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, terrorist activity or power failures - as well as the increasing menace posed by cyber-attacks.
Swift developed the MIRS system in concert with a core group of central banks over a three-year period, beginning in 2011. The Bank of England was the first of the banks to go live on the system in 2014.