Discussion papers on RTGS operating hours and access policies

The payments landscape continues to change rapidly. We are seeking input from industry on when RTGS is available for settlement as well as RTGS access policies to help us to ensure RTGS continues to support the changing needs of industry.
Published on 08 February 2024

Bank of England publishes two discussion papers on RTGS operating hours and access policies

The payments landscape continues to change rapidly with shifts in consumer demand and the emergence of new technology. We want to ensure that RTGS remains at the forefront of technological innovation and supports the changing needs of industry, whilst maintaining a keen eye to resilience. 

We have already made great strides in renewing our RTGS services and will introduce a new core ledger settlement engine this year. The new infrastructure embeds many technical functionalities that will allow for future innovation and promote settlement in central bank money – the safest way of settling payments. 

One such feature is the capability to operate longer settlement hours than our current 12x5. Longer RTGS operating hours for settlement would enable faster, cheaper, and safer cross-border payments by reducing time zone hurdles, easing liquidity management, and reducing peak-time congestion. It also aligns with the Bank's goal of fostering financial innovation, particularly in wholesale settlement and facilitating the development of new payment services. 

The renewed system will also have capacity to support broader participation, offer more streamlined and simplified onboarding, and introduce a more proportionate, risk-based assurance model.  We are considering whether and how changes to our RTGS access policies could help to make the most of these features and encourage competition in the payments services market.

Our vision is for RTGS to act as an open platform for change and innovation, supporting the Bank’s financial stability and monetary policy objectives. Ultimately, we want to support the industry development of innovative features which would lead to cheaper, safer and faster domestic and cross-border payments. 

Today we have released two discussion papers – one on RTGS and CHAPS operating hours and another on RTGS access policies. These papers aim to be the basis for further research and dialogue with the private sector on these important topics.

We will be hosting an event on Friday 23 February to talk about the content of the discussion papers – including why we are reviewing our RTGS operating hours and access policies, the aims of our reviews and next steps. Come and join us!

How to register