Swift has announced the launch of a new set of rules for using Swift MT messages in Islamic finance.

Collaborating with the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) and other stakeholders in the Malaysian Islamic financial community, Swift’s Islamic Finance Rulebook aims to clarify the use of financial messaging with straight-through processing (STP) in the context of financial services designed to comply with the principles of Islamic law. The rulebook will be available to Swift’s message user group (MUG) by the end of the year.

Commenting on the launch, executive director of the AIBIM, Yusry Yusoff, says the initiative “marks a significant development in furthering the level of efficiency for Islamic finance transactions, particularly in ensuring compliance to shariah requirements”.

Swift’s standards team in Asia Pacific has been developing the rulebook since 2013 in response to the growing interest in Islamic finance as an alternative to traditional forms of financing. Swift standard specialist in the region, Kiyono Hasaka, says the growth in demand has emphasised the need for internationally standardised practices when automating paper-based Islamic finance.

“Swift is well positioned to act as an enabler to bring the financial communities together and define market practice,” adds Hasaka.