Swift network ‘not compromised’ in Bangladesh heist
Belgium-headquartered Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), which provides the messaging system commonly used by banks for international transactions, said there was no security breach on its network in relation to the $81-million heist involving the funds of the Bangladeshi central bank.
“The network has never been compromised. There was no breach at all on the network,” Alain Raes, Swift chief executive for Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, told reporters Thursday.
Raes declined to comment further on the scandal where millions in stolen funds from the Bangladesh Bank entered the Philippine banking system and casinos.
In earlier reports by the Inquirer, the $81-million inward remittance happened last Feb. 5, which, as with all international wire transfers, was cleared through US-based correspondent banks Bank of New York, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
The local counterpart, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., was then notified of the incoming funds through the Swift messaging system.
Despite the heist, Raes said they don’t see a slowdown in transactions in the Philippines.
Amid a growing Philippine economy and financial sector, Swift has seen its business here growing faster than the Asean region, Raes said.
Traffic growth for payments, securities, treasury and trade transactions grew 14.8 percent year-on-year last January, surpassing the 12.4-percent growth in its Asean business.
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