What I'm primarily interested in: finding out whether Bank A in Country X has a direct SWIFT connection to Bank B in Country Y, or does it compulsorily have to go through Bank C in some country?

I've been noticing intermediary bank charges a lot these days and I so hate them for practically doing nothing but still charging USD 40 just as a middleman in a SWIFT transfer (I'm looking at you Citibank). And it gets significantly worse when a letter of credit comes through an intermediary advising bank and they loot off close to USD 200-300 for doing nothing.

Hence I'd just like to find out which banks are connected to which other banks directly, and plan my future business accordingly to avoid these enormous stupid intermediary fees.

  • Why do you think banks with a direct connection won't skim just as much off the top?
    – Kevin
    Jun 9 '17 at 21:22
  • 1
    How do you know the intermediary bank does nothing?
    – quid
    Jun 9 '17 at 23:04

The SWIFT network is federated. The connection routing is via country server to regional servers. All these are maintained by SWIFT.

The Banks have a correspondent relationship with other banks.

They play a role in actual settlement and take some risk.

The business of offering letters of credit is a very risky business. It is expensive.

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