Central banks review wholesale payments security

In the wake of the $81 million Bangladesh Bank hack, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) has set up a task force to look into the security of wholesale payments that involve financial institutions.

The CPMI, which acts as the global standard setter for payment, clearing and settlement services, says the task force will cover banks, financial market infrastructures (FMIs) and other financial institutions.

There has been a rising number of sophisticated cyber-attacks on the financial services sector, not least a series of hits using the Swift interbank messaging network. The new task force follows CPMI guidance in June on how FMIs should protect themselves.

“Recent incidents of cyber fraud are of significant concern for the central banking community, and we are working to make sure there are adequate checks and balances in place at each stage of the payments process,” CPMI Chairman Benoît Cœuré said.

“The first phase of this work is seeking to review current practices in this area and, based on this input, the CPMI will decide how to proceed. It is premature to speculate what will result from this work.”