Russian financial authorities continue to prepare for radical Western sanctions, including disconnection from the SWIFT system, although they argue that such a scenario is highly unlikely and not worth worrying about.
The Bank of Russia is technically ready for integration with the Chinese analogue of SWIFT (China International Payments System, CIPS), Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy chairman of the regulator, said at a roundtable in the State Duma.
According to her, the possibility of combining the “Russian SWIFT” (System for the transmission of financial messages, SPFS) and the National Chinese Bank Transfer System through the gateway was successfully tested.
“We have already done the integration, tested it, and it works,” said Skorobogatova (quoted by Interfax).
“The question now is that the Chinese side and the Russian side should orient their participants more and more towards this gateway that we have between these systems,” she added.
The Central Bank, we recall, began to create an internal Russian system of bank payments in 2014, when the annexation of Crimea and the strike on the Malaysian Boeing over Donbass unleashed a spiral of economic sanctions, and the European Parliament for the first time spoke about the possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT according to the scenario of Iran and the DPRK.
The SPFS was launched in 2016, and two years later, President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing foreign participants to join it, but the system has not yet aroused mass enthusiasm abroad.
Only one Chinese bank (JSCB “BANK OF CHAINA” (JSC)), as well as individual players from other countries, has connected to the system. Among them are JSC Ishbank (Turkey) JSC Em-U-Ef-Ji Bank (Eurasia) (subsidiary of the Japanese MUFG), Credit Argirocol CIB (France), JSC SEB BANK (Sweden) and JSC TOYOTA BANK “(Japan), follows from the list published by the Central Bank.
The central bank sees the problem and asks the government for help. Technologically expanding the number of SPFS participants is not a problem, but this requires political will, Skorobogatova said.
“From the point of view of the domestic market, the Russian transmission system in our country can handle 100% without any problems at all. But from an international point of view, we need your help, and we need other ministries and departments: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Finance. Because it is always an intergovernmental agreement. And here, it seems to me that everyone’s efforts should be directed towards this, ”said the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank.