Swift has added a new “peer assessment” function to its Sanctions Testing service.

The Sanctions Testing service helps financial institutions (FIs) optimise the performance of their transaction and customer screening systems by analysing whether their systems are operating correctly and are able to detect illicit transactions or sanctioned customers.

The new peer testing function enables FIs to compare the performance of their sanctions fillers against those of other participating institutions. It uses a performance baseline of aggregated data from other Sanctions Testing users with similar business characteristics.

“The addition of peer assessment provides further transparency by enabling banks to see how their systems perform against other banks with similar business characteristics. It will also contribute to the development of market practices,” says Tony Wicks, Sanctions Testing product manager at Swift.

20 FIs (accounting for 35% of message traffic on the Swift network) have signed up to the service thus far, as have some insurance providers.

The functions form part of Swift’s Compliance Services unit, which manages a portfolio of financial crime compliance services in the areas of sanctions, KYC and AML.