Russian financial institutions have been forbidden from using the SWIFT messaging system for domestic transactions, according to a new regulation from the Bank of Russia. Starting in October 2023, banks will be required to rely on domestic services for transferring messages related to financial transactions, such as the Bank of Russia’s own SPFS financial messaging system.
The Bank of Russia launched SPFS in 2018 in order to provide an alternative to SWIFT for local payments. The regulator believes that this change will guarantee the reliability, continuity and data security of financial transactions. In addition, it is also expected that by transitioning away from SWIFT domestically, it will help further strengthen the country’s broader cyber-security infrastructure. In light of this new rule, it is likely that Russian financial institutions will need to upgrade their systems and adjust their business processes accordingly in order to adhere to these requirements.