The Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service is the infrastructure that holds accounts for banks, building societies and other institutions. The balances in these accounts can be used to move money in real time between these account holders, this delivers final and risk-free settlement. A programme of work has been established to deliver a renewed Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service. As set out in the blueprint, as well as replicating the functionality provided today, the new RTGS service will deliver a range of new features and capabilities for payments and settlements between financial institutions. More detail on when functionality is now expected to be delivered is in the Programme timeline below.
We will continue to engage with the payments industry throughout the Programme, to ensure that the next generation of RTGS creates a world-leading payments service for the UK.
Why is it necessary to renew RTGS?
Renewing the service is necessary because the way payments are made has changed dramatically in recent years, reflecting changes in the needs of households and companies, changes in technology, and an evolving regulatory landscape.
Our vision is to develop an RTGS service which is fit for the future, increasing resilience and access, and offering wider interoperability, improved user functionality and strengthened end-to-end risk management of the UK’s High Value Payment System.
On 5 December 2022, we announced that the migration of CHAPS to ISO 20022 messaging (Transition State 2.1 of the RTGS Renewal Programme) – will now occur on 19 June 2023, rather than in April 2023, in light of the European Central Bank (ECB)’s own migration moving from November 2022 to March 2023.
On 13 February 2023, the Bank announced that Transition State 3, the introduction of the new RTGS core ledger and settlement engine, will take place in Summer 2024, rather than the previously indicated Spring 2024. This change has taken place to allow sufficient time for the Bank and industry to prepare, following the introduction of Transition State 2.1 in June 2023. Moving Transition State 3 to Summer 2024 ensures that the plan is safe and robust, while avoiding unnecessary delay.
In light of the revised timeline for Transition State 3, we will now mandate certain elements of enhanced data from end-November 2024, rather than Summer 2024. From this date, CHAPS rules will require Purpose Codes and LEIs to be included in domestic CHAPS payments between financial institutions (pacs.009 CORE messages and certain pacs.008 messages). The rules will also mandate Purpose Codes for property transactions.
On 13 February 2023, the Bank also published a response to two consultations published in April 2022, which sought industry views on the Future Roadmap for RTGS and the RTGS CHAPS tariff framework.
The consultation on the Future Roadmap for RTGS Beyond 2024 proposed a number of ambitious and innovative features in line with our vision to develop an RTGS service which is fit for the future, by offering new ways of connecting, more flexible services and enhanced resilience.
Following feedback from industry, we will prioritise:
- Features providing resilient channels to connect to RTGS, which include evolving settlement contingency and introducing an alternative channel to connect to RTGS; and
- Features supporting innovation and global initiatives, which include synchronised settlement, extended operating hours and non-payment APIs.
The Bank will work closely with industry to define service propositions for these priority categories before deciding which features to introduce and in what order. Progressing the priority features will be key to allowing RTGS to offer the highest degree of resilience while facilitating innovation and competition in the fast-changing payments landscape. Future Roadmap consultation response.
The consultation response on the revised RTGS CHAPS tariff framework set out the five key principles for a tariff framework as being: proportionate; simple and efficient; stable and predictable; supportive of competition and access; and supportive of the Bank’s monetary and financial stability mission. Overall, industry respondents were supportive of these key principles. The Bank has now used the feedback received to refine and set the parameters for the framework. On this basis, the revised tariff framework aims to introduce better alignment of tariffs with gross system usage, using a combination of volume and value-based fees. We plan to share with tariff payers in Summer 2023 more detail on expected costs for the first years of the new service. Revised RTGS CHAPS tariff consultation response.
How we are governed
Renewal Executive Board
The Renewal Executive Board (REB) is a senior-level executive group responsible for the delivery of the RTGS Renewal Programme. REB is chaired by the Deputy Governor for Markets & Banking, with other members including the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer and the Executive Director for Payments. REB is responsible for overseeing the delivery, overall scope and financial management (within an overall budget determined by Court) of the RTGS Renewal Programme. Its responsibilities are set out in the Renewal Executive Board Terms of ReferenceOpens in a new window.
REB works closely with the RTGS/CHAPS Board, which provides strategic leadership for live operation of RTGS and CHAPS.
The Bank’s RTGS Renewal Programme includes a significant engagement programme with key stakeholders, including through the Senior Sponsors’ BodyOpens in a new window.