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SWIFT Establishes Direct Presence in India

First India Office for Secure Financial Messaging Provider Underlines Increasing Integration with the Global Financial System; Mumbai as Regional Financial Hub

Mumbai,  (BW) SWIFT,the global provider of secure financial messaging, opened its first office in India in Mumbai today. The announcement was made at SWIFT’s Regional Conference for India and the sub-continent, taking place from November 26 to 28, featuring presentations from leading Indian bankers and global SWIFT experts.
Owned and governed by more than 2,200 institutions in the global financial industry, SWIFT is strengthening its presence as a direct result of the sustained growth and development of the financial services sector in India, and in particular the proliferation of international relationships between Indian financial institutions and counterparties worldwide.
The Indian subcontinent is already an important region for SWIFT,with 201 live user institutions, of which 92 are in India.Growth in SWIFT financial messages from the region was a strong 19 percent in the year to October 2007, and is expected to accelerate in 2008.
“The financial industry in India is changing fast. SWIFT is now here, on the ground in the key city in the region, to help the community respond,” said Ian Johnston, Head of Asia Pacific, SWIFT. “Developing financial markets in emerging markets is a critical element of SWIFT’s 2010 strategy, and our growing investment here reflects that commitment.”
Participants at the three-day India Regional Conference include speakers from Canara Bank, Clearing Corporation of India, ICICI Bank, IDLC Finance, the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the State Bank of India. Strong interest in the Conference followed the attendance of more than 100 Indian senior bankers and financial industry executives at the SWIFT annual Sibos event, held this October in Boston.
The Conference reflects many of the issues facing the financial community in India today. In the area of securities, sessions address the role of automation in enabling the local industry to manage growth, from the points of view of mutual funds, exchanges and depositories, and regulators. Trade finance is also in focus, reflecting 35 percent growth in intra-Asia trade and the need for banks to provide value-adding services to customers trading on open account. The conference also looks at the hot topic of financial reform in India and the subcontinent.
“At the outset of our direct presence, this conference is an excellent opportunity to listen to and deepen our understanding of the needs of the community in India,” said Charles Legrand, Incoming Head of South Asia for SWIFT, “By exploring these needs we can work to make SWIFT not only a network to depend on for security, resilience and reliability, but also a platform for regional competitive advantage for Indian banks and their customers.”
SWIFT’s secure, reliable and resilient global network links users in India with 8,915 financial institutions and 200-plus corporate houses in more than 200 countries worldwide. In business for 30 years, SWIFT has never lost a message.
In addition to its traditional role in payments messaging, SWIFT’s range of services today includes SWIFTNet Funds for the mutual funds industry, SWIFTNet Trade Services Utility, corporate connectivity where customers re-use their SWIFTNet infrastructure. In the Indian subcontinent, while payments messages represented 58 percent of total messages in the year to October 2007, securities message traffic grew at the fastest rate, at 37 percent for the region.
SWIFT works closely with its community worldwide via user groups, working groups, business forums, market practice groups, business partners and the landmark annual Sibos event. The SWIFT India User Group has linked SWIFT with the needs of the financial community in India for more than 15 years.

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