Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems - A consultative report by CPSS -

13 December 1999

Press release

"International consultative efforts are necessary to establish clear and consistent standards for well functioning payment systems", Wendelin Hartmann, Chairman of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS), said today. In a major new initiative to promote safe and efficient payment systems worldwide, the CPSS is releasing today, for consultation, Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems. The report is endorsed by the Governors of the central banks of the Group of Ten countries.

The report was prepared by a CPSS-appointed Task Force, consisting of payment system experts from 23 central banks (from G10 and non-G10 countries, representing a variety of stages of economic development) as well as from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Task Force is chaired by John Trundle of the Bank of England.

The consultative report sets out core principles for the design and operation of systemically important payment systems and defines central bank responsibilities in applying these principles. The core principles establish a basic framework for the stable functioning of a country's systemically important payment systems.

Payment systems are key components of financial infrastructure: their failure can trigger or transmit systemic disruptions in financial systems and markets, both domestic and international. Rapid technological changes, combined with increasingly integrated international financial systems and rising financial activity, have led to very high volumes and values of payment transactions being concentrated in individual payment systems. Robust and efficient payment systems are necessary to prevent such disruptions, particularly in emerging markets.

The Task Force is currently working on the second part of this report, which will further clarify the issues addressed by the core principles and provide guidance for their application in different contexts. In particular, this part of the report will address the practical concerns that payment system operators and central banks face in applying these principles.

In preparing the report, the Task Force consulted a number of other central bank experts, including many from emerging markets. The public consultations will enable the CPSS to take account of the views of central banks, the banking community and other interested parties. The CPSS would particularly welcome specific suggestions that will assist it in producing a final version of its report.

Comments are invited until 17 March 2000 from all interested parties. They may be sent to the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, Bank for International Settlements, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; Fax: + 41 61 280 91 00; e-mail: cpss@bis.org (subject line "Core Principles").

The report is available on the BIS website (www.bis.org); copies can also be obtained from the BIS or the institutions represented in the Task Force and the CPSS from 14 December 1999. The report will also be available in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian.


Notes to editors

1. The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) serves as a forum for the central banks of the G10 countries to monitor and analyse developments in payment and settlement arrangements and to consider related policy issues. Non-G10 central banks are increasingly involved in the Committee's work. The Chairman of the CPSS is Wendelin Hartmann, member of the Directorate of the Deutsche Bundesbank; he also represents the CPSS in the Financial Stability Forum (the Core Principles are listed in the Forum's "compendium of standards") as well as in the Joint Year 2000 Council.

2. A list of CPSS publications as well as the full text of a number of recent reports in English are available on the BIS website.

3. The Task Force is chaired by John Trundle, Head of Market Infrastructure Divisions, Bank of England. A list of the members and the institutions they represent is annexed to the report.