091519Z JAN 18
RU




Highlight/Context

In this article, the Saker describes:
What is SWIFT
Impact of kicking Russia out of SWIFT
Can Russia build an alternative to SWIFT?
Concluding paragraph:
Finally, the big question is who will be accepting any SWIFT alternative? Here is were things get tough. US is certain to try and bully other countries into “either use SWIFT exclusively or else!”. This can even be achieved via the “ethical way” like it was attempted way back when Google cited pressure from society and people “to promote democracy and freedom of speech” in an effort to try to avoid following Chinese legislation while doing business in China. While users in countries like China probably will not be intimidated – who would like to lose Chinese investments – or can be allowed to work around the limits (example: keep the main business entity SWIFT only and set up a subsidiary for Russia only communications. The subsidiary is as such expendable and if one complains can be dissolved and replaced within a matter of days), smaller or vassal states (hello EU) can be bullied enough to go against their own interests. This has happened in the past between VISA and China Union Pay, and it took years of WTO litigation to resolve. Russian diplomacy will have to be very efficient and creative to overcome a global monopoly.




Russia Feed:

For some time now, US and its vassal states and Russia are engaged in an economic war. The first salvo was when VISA and MasterCard – which are US based banking institutions – were forced to stop accepting transactions performed by cardholders of certain Russian banks. The latest indication, as Saker has mentioned in the near past is that the US government is thinking to block Russian access to the SWIFT system.

What is SWIFT

SWIFT is basically a cooperative message exchange system. It is targeted at banks, investment companies, money brokers, basically anyone which needs to transfer money from A to B. To use it you apply for membership; once accepted you get your SWIFT code plus some shares of the SWIFT cooperative, pay a one-off signup fee and from then on you pay per message (aka transaction) or per file sent, other processing / services fees plus an annual support fee. The value of fees and other charges depends on the membership level. Profits are distributed in a similar way. SWIFT also provides reports and other analytic features to help members generate more business.

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