Swift has announced it will give banks free access to its know-your-customer (KYC) registry in 2015 if they contribute their own institutional data.

Free access to the registry is intended to make it easier and cheaper for banks to be KYC-compliant.

A total of 12 banks currently comprise the registry’s working group, contributing their information to maintain standardised data about banks, in a centralised repository.

Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group Bank, HSBC, ING and Raiffeisen Bank were the latest banks to sign up to the registry in June this year, joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Commerzbank, JPMorgan, Société Générale and Standard Chartered.

Swift expects more institutions will sign up to the registry, contributing to the data set when it becomes generally available at the end of 2014.

“This unique introductory offer makes it even easier for banks to enjoy the full benefits of the initiative,” says head of banking markets and compliance services at Swift, Luc Meurant.

“Swift created the registry to enable its community to collectively address the global challenge of KYC compliance. We are delighted by the number of banks that are already contributing their information as part of this industry-driven solution.”

Swift checks for completeness, accuracy and validity of data in the registry with fact-based controls. User banks retain ownership of their KYC information and are able to control who can access it via the secure online platform.