Pakistani-American banker Yawar Shah is the Chairman of the SWIFT Board of Directors. SWIFT stands for The Society For Inter-Bank Financial Telecommunications. SWIFT has been in the news recently for cutting off Russian banks to punish Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia is now disconnected from the global financial system used to settle the vast majority of payments in international trade.
|Yawar Shah. Source: SWIFT
In addition to his role as the Chairman of the SWIFT Board of Directors, Yawar is also a Managing Director in the Institutional Clients Group at Citigroup. Before joining Citigroup, Yawar was at JPMorgan for over 20 years. Positions there have included Global Operations Executive for Worldwide Securities Services, Retail Service and Operations Executive, Chief Operating Officer of the Global Private Bank, and General Manager of the Treasury Management Services business. He received his BA from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) was founded in 1973 to replace the telex system. It is now used by over 11,000 financial institutions to send secure messages and payment orders. Disconnecting an entire country from SWIFT is considered the nuclear option of economic sanctions, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP). But even limited action can have a big impact. Any bank disconnected from SWIFT will have a very difficult time sending money to other financial institutions, and its customers will struggle to conduct their business.
|US$ Share of SWIFT Payments. Source: Atlantic Council
|Russian Foreign Currency Reserves. Source: Statista
|Russia's Attempt to Sanction-Proof Economy. Source: Wall Street Journal
|Share of Export Invoicing in US$. Source: Atlantic Council
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