The UK Payments Council has contracted with interbank messaging network Swift to provide a BIC-to-IBAN data platform, enabling the nation's banks to conform to new EU regulations on cross-border payments in the euro zone.
The new platform will enable the accurate derivation of BICs from Ibans, a key requirement for financial institutions in the eurozone wishing to initiate cross-border euro payments to the UK once the new EU regulations come into force.
In the absence of a current central UK data source for Sepa-specific routing requirements and with the removal of the reliance on customers to provide their bank BIC, planned for 2016, the Payments Council opted for the provision of an automated central infrastructure platform for collection and maintenance of UK-specific Sepa routing data.
The infrastructure will build on elements of Swift’s worldwide reference data utility, SWIFTRef, which is currently used by over 5500 financial institutions and 500 corporates globally.
Maurice Cleaves, Interim CEO, of the Payments Council commented: “Efficient and cost-effective Sepa compliance is a key priority for all players in the Sepa zone and, at the same time, an operational challenge for UK financial institutions. We believe the new platform enabled by Swift will deliver significant benefits by easing data management and ensuring accurate euro-payments routing to our community.”