SWIFT cancels Sibos 2020 in Boston; eyes virtual alternatives

Organisers of one of the financial services industry’s largest gatherings cancels its 2020 event due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

By Jonathan Watkins

SWIFT has made the decision to cancel Sibos 2020 in Boston due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a view to replacing the October event with a virtual alternative.

As one of the largest conferences in financial services, the flagship event hosted by the payments network provider has been running for over 40 years, and moves its location throughout the world with each passing year.

Set to take place from 5-8 October 2020 in Boston, SWIFT took the decision to cancel the event as the organisation believed it was “the most responsible course of action given global circumstances”.

The expo brings finance professionals together from around the world, and covers a range of banking topics including payments, securities services and technology. SWIFT set a record for attendance in 2019 with 11,500 delegates in attendance.

“We reached this decision after extensive consultation with the community and in the interest, first and foremost, of protecting the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners and staff,” SWIFT said in a statement. “This is not a decision we take lightly, but one we believe is the most responsible course of action given global circumstances.”
“We are exploring options to launch some world-class industry thought leadership content digitally that week and beyond. So please hold on to the dates in your diary.”

SWIFT added in a tweet that “we think bringing the community together is more important than ever and are exploring options to do so virtually”.

The next physical Sibos will therefore now be in Singapore from 11-14 October 2021.

Global Custodian has attended Sibos in some capacity for almost all 30 years of its existence.

Each year we provide an updated ranking of the best events – compiled by securities services veteran John Gubert – taking into account location, content and venue, among other factors. You can read his list following 2018 in Sydney here.

In addition, Global Custodian deputy editor Joe Parsons compiled his top takeaways from Sibos 2019 here.