Basel: Global Correspondent Banking Relationships Continue Disappearing

The number of worldwide correspondent banking relationships continues to decline, according to new figures released today by the Basel, Switzerland-based Financial Stability Board. Relying on data released twice annually by the Swift network, the FSB found that active correspondent relationships declined by 7.9 percent across all currencies from 2011 to mid-2017 — even as the total volume and value of payments processed through Swift continue to rise.

The FSB’s report found that the reduction in correspondent relationships creates longer and more cumbersome payment chains, as well as concentrating the correspondent business in a small number of remaining participants, which “could affect competition, raise costs and especially lead to more fragile networks since failure of a participant could have larger effects on the market and the economy.”