Banks, Swift Partner in 'Know Your Customer' Registry

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A group of major banks have agreed to collaborate on a centralized know-your-customer registry with the financial messaging service Swift.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Societe Generale, Citigroup (NYSE: C), Commerzbank and Standard Chartered have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the registry with Swift, according to Swift's March 4 press release. More lenders are expected to join in coming months.

The know-your-customer registry will initially focus on correspondent banking relationships, according to the release. Banks will contribute the data they are required to collect under anti-money laundering and due diligence regulations. The registry will launch at the end of 2014, according to the release.

"The banks' involvement is an important step in this initiative to standardize the process and reduce the cost associated with know your customer activities," Swift's head of banking markets and compliance services Luc Meurant said in the release. "The commitment from these banks demonstrates the importance of collaboration in financial crime compliance."

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