SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries, has announced the launch of the SWIFT Institute, a new body dedicated to fostering research and disseminating knowledge and information about the financial services industry, with a particular focus on transaction banking.
The Institute, based at SWIFT's HQ near Brussels, will fund and publish independent research and bring together academics and practitioners to inform, debate and learn from each other. The research will be conducted by academics and senior industry professionals.
Yawar Shah, SWIFT Board Chairman and COO, explained, "SWIFT is stepping up to the requests of the banking industry, especially from the leaders of the global transaction banking businesses, to foster research in this important area to assist with thought leadership on key strategic matters. It is a limited but important initiative for SWIFT in its role as a global, neutral, trusted third party."
The research will cover various aspects of transaction banking, including the following areas:
• Clearing / Settlement
• Cash Management
• Trade Finance
• Trust and Securities
The SWIFT Institute, which SWIFT will fund and staff, will work with researchers globally who have a proven record in financial research. The first research grants to be issued by the Institute will cover three topical areas:
• RMB internationalisation
• Financial supply chain management
• Banking inclusion
Full details of these grants, including the grant recipients, will be available soon on the SWIFT Institute's web site, which went live today: www.swiftinstitute.org.
"The Institute will focus on areas of the financial infrastructure that can benefit from greater understanding and improvement," said Professor Ron Berndsen, one of the new Institute's Advisory Council members. "Our goal is research that will ultimately benefit the financial services industry, and its underlying customers."
The Institute's output will include white papers, presentations and conference sessions, including at SWIFT's annual Sibos conference, which in 2012 will be held in Osaka, Japan (October 28 - November 2, 2012).
"SWIFT is uniquely placed within the financial industry to lead such an initiative, as it is owned and ussed by the industry globally," said Lázaro Campos, SWIFT CEO. "Bringing the SWIFT community and academics together to explore ideas, share knowledge and extend mutual understanding is an important part of our mission."
An advisory council comprising academics, central and transaction bankers will oversee the Institute's research priorities. Confirmed members so far include:
• Professor Dr R.J. (Ron) Berndsen, Head of Oversight Department, Cash and Payment Systems Division, De Nederlandsche Bank and endowed professor of Financial Infrastructure and Systemic Risk at Tilburg University
• Sir Howard Davies, Professor of Practice. French School of Political Science (Sciences Po)
• Darrell Duffie, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance at Stanford University Graduate School of Business
• Dr Guillermo Ortiz Martinez, Chairman of Grupo Financiero Banorte-IXE
• John Trundle, CEO, Euroclear UK and Ireland
• Yawar Shah, SWIFT Board Chairman and COO, Customer Intelligence, Citigroup
• Lázaro Campos, SWIFT CEO