Russia wins SWIFT board seat: An increase in banking traffic has earned Russia a seat on the the board of the SWIFT global interbank communications system for the first time, despite efforts by the US and the EU to use the system as part of their package of anti-Russian sanctions. The SWIFT system connects more than 10,000 banks in more than 200 countries and provides the messaging that makes trillions of dollars of international payments possible. Every three years the organization reconfigures the shares among participating countries, with each country receiving a number of shares in proportion to the traffic in the system. The number of banking transactions by Russia’s ROSSWIFT in 2014 propelled it into 13th place ahead of Hong Kong, giving it the right to nominate its candidate for the board of directors. The composition of new board will be approved at the annual meeting of shareholders in June and the Russian director will assume his or her post for a three-year period.