International Money Transfer News

Will The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication Cut Off Iran?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is believed to be coming under pressure to cease supporting money transfers and remittance services to Iran.

The US is believed to be stepping up pressure on SWIFT in line with a broader sanction campaign.

The United States is seeking tougher scrutiny of banking transactions and oil shipment financing with Iran, which it accuses of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

A US Senate Bill, if it becomes law, would direct the White House to press SWIFT to drop Iranian banks, and would give the Treasury Department the power to sanction SWIFT and the banks that own it.

The Belgium-based body, involved in 80 to 90 percent of all global payments, is keen to point out that it does not carry out transactions and is only a messaging system, more akin to a telephone service, which U.S. lawmakers are not targeting.

SWIFT does not hold accounts for members and does not perform clearing or settlement.

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