Accuity, the leading global provider of financial crime screening, payments and know your customer (KYC) solutions, has marked the 175th anniversary of Bankers Almanac, one of the most authoritative and comprehensive sources of financial intelligence that informs the decisions of virtually every bank around the world.
First published in 1845 as “The Banking Almanac and Directory,” the “orange book” was created to help financial institutions find and confirm contact information for banking institutions to facilitate the transfer of capital. It has evolved throughout its existence, along with the financial industry, and today it is used to validate and expedite payments and determine counterparty KYC risk for organisations in approximately 550 industries in 185 countries around the world.
The payments and KYC content is proactively researched and maintained by a dedicated team of data analysts located throughout the world. They follow a rigorous methodology to provide data sourced directly from the world’s banks. This information helps organisations validate payment codes, improve the certainty of a settlement, compress processing cycles, improve straight-through processing, assess the potential risk of on-boarding new correspondent partners around the globe, and ensure regulatory compliance.
Dennis Paschke, Head of Credit Risk Management at Berenberg Bank, said, “Berenberg, founded 1590 in Hamburg, is the second oldest bank in the world. We have been using Bankers Almanac for decades, taking advantage of the expanded features and functionality of the product throughout its evolution. Today, the digital application is a perfect tool for onboarding new clients efficiently, as well as for conducting periodic reviews, and we look forward to seeing what comes next. Congratulations to Bankers Almanac on reaching this significant milestone!”
Accuity and its Bankers Almanac portfolio have established a legacy of trust and reliability across the financial services industry, including the following innovations and milestones:
- 1911: Accuity was named the Official Registrar of American Bankers Association (ABA) Routing Numbers. The routing number system was created by the ABA as a mechanism for identifying each financial institution in the United States.
- 2003: Launched the first IBAN solution for Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Payment Compliance in the European Union.
- 2004: Bankers Almanac, in association with the Wolfsberg Group of International Banks, created a central repository for banks, containing the primary information required by financial institutions to conduct due diligence checks on their bank counterparties. This is known as Bankers Almanac Due Diligence.
- 2011: Last Bankers Almanac book was published, signalling the ever-changing nature of the industry and demand for more frequently updated information in a digital format.
- 2012: Launched the Bankers Almanac Global Payments Web Service to automate the validation and retrieval of critical payments information – clearing codes, SSIs, clearing system details – helping financial institutions, payment service providers and e-commerce to increase efficiencies and remove frictions in their payment operations.
- 2016 and 2017 (respectively): Announced Bankers Almanac: Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) to offer customers further insight into the ownership of banks and financial institutions to support due diligence activities; and, Bankers Almanac: Regulatory Views that uses analytics to link the entities in Bankers Almanac to potential sanctions and state-owned enterprise risks in a counterparty’s ownership structure.
- 2018: Launched the Bankers Almanac: KYC API to automate the transfer of data from Bankers Almanac to banks’ internal systems, eliminating the window for human error and making KYC risk assessments more accurate.
- 2020: Apply Financial was acquired to provide real-time straight through processing and account validation payment solutions and enhance the Bankers Almanac portfolio.
Scott Lang, Chief of Staff at Nacha, said, “Nacha congratulates Bankers Almanac on its 175-year milestone. Having successfully evolved its offering over the years to meet changing needs, it remains a trusted and reliable source of critical information to the banking industry. We appreciate the many contributions of Bankers Almanac and celebrate its continued success.”
With consolidation across the financial industry, the advent of non-banking financial institutions and new payment rails, and growing regulations across all regions of the world, Bankers Almanac remains the trusted resource to help power compliant and assured client transactions. It continues to transform by helping organisations send payments at a lower cost into more markets, and with greater certainty, while helping them mitigate risk in real time and meet compliance, while improving customer satisfaction.
David Wilson, CEO at Accuity, said, “We are proud to be celebrating the remarkable longevity of the much-loved Bankers Almanac brand. It has truly stood the test of time and remains a cornerstone of the international banking community. Its resilience will continue as it helps build an interconnected and trusted financial ecosystem with new offerings, innovations, and partnerships. We look forward to unveiling some of these initiatives in the coming months, as we embark on the next chapter of Bankers Almanac’s evolution.”