The two biggest banks in Russia, Sberbank and VTB, are in talks to create an alternative to the SWIFT global system for interbank financial communications, VTB head Andrey Kostin said.
According to Kostin, Russia has two options: either use the system run by the Russian Central Bank or create a new homegrown transaction platform.
“There is an alternative, we can use the Central Bank system that is already in operation, and we may make our own, we are already in discussions with Sberbank,” Kostin told reporters in Washington DC, where he is for the annual fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
However, the catch with the Central Bank’s international transaction system is the price.
“It’s expensive, in fact several times more expensive than the SWIFT payment system,” the VTB head said.