Banks seeking to increase efficiency and reduce risk related to their correspondent banking know-your-customer (KYC) compliance activities now have a new resource at their fingertips. SWIFT this week announced the official availability of the KYC Registry, a community-driven financial crime compliance initiative that more than 20 global and regional banks have joined.

The KYC Registry provides a simple, secure way to exchange a standardized set of information for correspondent banking due diligence. Banks contribute an agreed ‘baseline’ set of data and documentation for validation by SWIFT, which the contributors can then share with their counterparties. Each bank retains ownership of its own information, as well as control over which other institutions can view it.

The KYC Registry from SWIFT will "enable us to receive and share KYC information simply and securely, eliminating costly and redundant document exchanges,” Francesco Rescigno, head of operational risk, compliance and AML for ICCREA Banca, said.

The KYC Registry is operated by SWIFT, an industry-owned cooperative, as a neutral information provider. Banks are not charged for data contribution, or for using the Registry to share their KYC information with other banks. To maximize the Registry’s benefits, SWIFT will make data consumption free in 2015 for banks that contribute their own KYC information to the Registry and promote it to their correspondents.

SWIFT is also introducing the SWIFT Profile, a new report that provides a global overview of a banking institution’s correspondent banking activities, also designed to increase KYC transparency and addresses know-your-customer’s-customer (KYCC) requirements. The SWIFT Profile is the first in a series of value-added KYC and customer due diligence services that SWIFT will offer in connection with The KYC Registry.