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Basel Committee releases guidance on cross-border wire transfer messages

May 12, 2009: As part of its long-standing commitment to provide supervisory guidance in support of anti-money laundering and of countering the financing of terrorism, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision today issued final guidance on Due diligence and transparency regarding cover payment messages related to cross-border wire transfers.

The processing of cross-border wire transfers often involves several financial institutions. This paper provides guidance for situations in which one or more intermediary banks are located neither in the jurisdiction of the originatorís bank nor in that of the beneficiaryís bank.

This document describes the supervisory expectations for the information that must be included in payment messages related to cover payments, the mechanisms that must be used to ensure that complete and accurate information has been included in such messages, and the use that should be made of the information for anti-money laundering purposes and to combat the financing of terrorism.

The guidance is consistent with current private sector initiatives supported by the Basel Committee to enhance transparency in payment messages. In 2008, the Basel Committee published for public consultation an earlier draft of the paper. The comments received during that process helped inform the final version of the guidance.

(This is Press Release of BIS)

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