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SWIFT Increasingly Serves Securities Industry, New Head Shows

The impending arrival of a new chief executive for SWIFT in the Americas shows the new importance of the securities industry to the bank payments and communications co-operative, it was suggested at the annual press briefing today.

Messages for the securities industry, versus the banking industry which established SWIFT in 1973, are now the fastest-growing part of SWIFT's growing business.

"There's still growth in payments [9.3%], but huge growth in securities [20.4%]," said David Pryce, acting head of the Americas for SWIFT, citing results for the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

Bank payments contribute 51% of SWIFT messages, but securities have almost caught up, at 41% plus 9% Treasury, many of which could be classified as securities messages, Pryce said.

Pryce, who came here from London last year, said he would be remaining on after Chris Church arrives on Aug. 18, as chief executive of the Americas/global head of securities. Church has a securities background, as former MD of BT Radianz Services, a secure, global financial extranet, owned by Britain's dominant telco BT.

Church's background is "complementary," to his Pryce said, "very different from my expertise from 23 years with SWIFT."

Church's "second role," Pryce said, "will be to look at our positioning in the securities industry worldwide."

Most securities messages are for the clearing and settling of trades, as investment banks communicate both with the custodians that keep share records, etc., and the sub-custodians or local representatives in the countries around the world where the investment bank does business.

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