British prime minister David Cameron has urged European Union to exclude Russia from the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

However, German chancellor Angela Merkel said to have opposed the proposal.

Faced with the risk of losing access to the network, the Russian Central Bank and the government’s financial and economic departments have already drafted a bill to create a Russian analog of the SWIFT international financial message system.

Russian government prepared the bill in consultation with the local banking community and the Bank of Russia, the country’s deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseyev said last week.

Belgium-based SWIFT has to comply with EU decisions because the organisation is incorporated under Belgian law.

The SWIFT system transmitted more than 21 million financial messages a day last month, facilitating payments between more than 10,500 financial institutions and corporations in 215 countries.