WTF IS SWIFT

Written by on March 7, 2022


 WTF IS SWIFT

Shared By Peter Boykin – American Political Commentator / Citizen Journalist

Swift logo is placed on Ukrainian’s and Russian’s flag colors in this illustration taken, Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

 

Over the past week, you’ve probably heard politicians and reporters talking a lot about something called “SWIFT” and how the west wants to restrict Russia’s access to it in order to pressure them to de-escalate in Ukraine.

But WTF is SWIFT?

It’s an acronym for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

Bloomberg describes it as “the Gmail of global banking”

It provides a secure way to confirm financial payments, orders, and stock trades.

It’s based in Belgium and links more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.

Why it matters to Russia: So far, 7 Russian banks have been cut off of SWIFT, including Russia’s second-largest bank. The west has so far stopped short of cutting out banks that handle energy (oil) payments.

The reason there’s a carve-out for banks that handle energy payments is that European countries pay for their Russian oil and gas using the SWIFT platform.

A senior EU official said: “All these banks that we have listed under SWIFT… they are all based on their connection to the state and the implicit connection to the war effort. We have not gone for a blanket ban across the whole banking system.”

[Source: Reuters, Axios, Waking Up Right]

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