Main Crimean bank may lose access to SWIFT payment system due to loss of its software license

The British company Finastra, which produces software that allows banks to access SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system, discovered that one of its clients was the Russian National Commercial Bank (RNCB) operating in the Crimea and decided to stop this cooperation.

According to Russian Vedomosti newspaper, the bank can switch to another interface for accessing SWIFT, but if it does not manage to do this before August 31 when the license for the Finastra software expires then RNCB will be cut off from SWIFT.

SWIFT allows banks and companies to exchange financial messages around the world thanks to unified standards and wide coverage. There are alternatives available for transactions within Russia, but for international transactions there is no alternative to SWIFT.

RNCB works only in the anexed Crimea and Moscow and it does not expect that the cessation of cooperation with Finastra will affect its business.

Crimean banks cannot have correspondent accounts and transact with foreign banks observing the sanctions regime. They are effectively cut off from the global banking system. Nevertheless, one of the RNCB’s counterparts indicates that the bank still uses SWIFT, although not as actively as other banks.

On August 10, the Central Bank of Russia introduced a temporary administration in Genbank, one of the largest banks in the Crimea.

  Crimea, banks, SWIFT, Russia, Sanctions