The head of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiúlina, invited foreign financial market participants to join the Russian analogue of the international interbank communication system Swift, called SPFS.
“We have a financial messaging system, SPFS, which can replace Swift within the country. Outside participants can join”, He pointed out in a statement to the media after a board of directors of the Russian monetary entity.
The EU agreed on Sunday to disconnect some Russian banks from the Swift system, a step that will also be taken by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, an unprecedented blow to Russia’s economy in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
The SPFS is an alternative channel for the transmission of electronic messages on financial transactions and guarantees the uninterrupted transmission of financial messages both within the country and abroad.
According to the official agency TASS, the Bank of Russia launched SPFS in test mode in 2014, the system can transmit data in Swift format, but does not depend on its channels.
In 2017, SPFS became fully operational, transmitting messages about transactions in any currency.
Initially, it was intended only for Russian home users, but as of April 2021, more than 20 Belarusian banks, the Armenian Arshidbank, and the Kyrgyz Bank of Asia were connected to it.
In addition, subsidiaries of large Russian banks in Germany and Switzerland have access to it and negotiations on agreements on SPFS with China are underway, TASS states.
According to the same source, to date, 399 users participate in the system.
In 2020, SPFS monthly traffic amounted to two million messages, the system’s share of Russia’s internal financial data exchange reached 20.6%, ahead of Swift.
In December 2021, Denis Baryshkov, head of the Department for Development and Regulation of the National Payment System of the Bank of Russia, stated that 38 foreign participants from nine countries were among the users connected to the financial messaging system.
At the same time, he reported that all Belarusian banks were connected to the Russian financial messaging system.
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