Governance of RTGS and CHAPS
We have dedicated governance arrangements for the RTGS infrastructure and CHAPS payment system.
The RTGS/CHAPS Board (the Board) provides strategic leadership for the RTGS infrastructure and CHAPS payment system, including the RTGS renewal programme. The Board operates within the Bank’s wider governance structure, reporting to the Governor and Court.
The Board supports the delivery of the Bank’s mission to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability. It also seeks to promote efficiency, innovation and competition in sterling payments, wherever that can be safely done without impairing stability.
As operator of a systemically important payment system, the Bank is accountable for the end-to-end risk management of the CHAPS payment system. The Board supports this through the oversight of all risks that could impact the resilience of the payment system.
For both RTGS and CHAPS, the Board is responsible for:
- setting strategic aims
- setting risk tolerance
- reviewing the risk management frameworks and overseeing the risk profiles and risk mitigation
- reviewing the audit programme
- reviewing business continuity and crisis management
The Board meets six times a year. Its membership includes four independent, external appointees, in order to provide additional challenge, broader experience and insight into the Board’s decision-making.
The members are:
- Chair: Dave Ramsden, Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking, and Senior Manager responsible for the implementation of strategic changes and the day-to-day operation of the RTGS and CHAPS Services under our internal application of the Senior Managers Regime
- Sandra ‘Sandy’ Boss (independent member)
- Kevin Brown (independent member)
- Lazaro Campos (independent member)
- Rob Elsey, Chief Information Officer
- Charlotte Gerken, Director for Supervisory Risk Specialists
- Noel Harwerth (independent member)
- Andrew Hauser, Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience
- Michael Jones, Head of Market Services (the area that operates RTGS and CHAPS)
Additional Board member biographies
The Board has delegated the monitoring of the CHAPS and RTGS risk management framework, risk tolerance and risk profiles to the RTGS/CHAPS Board Risk Committee. This committee meets six times a year and is comprised of five board members: Sandra ‘Sandy’ Boss (Chair), Michael Jones, Rob Elsey, Charlotte Gerken, and Noel Harwerth.
The Board takes appropriate input from RTGS and CHAPS users, including through the Strategic Advisory Forum and Service User Group.
The career experience of the independent members can raise the possibility that individuals may have an interest which could give rise to a potential conflict. The Board has robust procedures in place to manage such conflicts to ensure the integrity and impartiality of the Board’s decision-making.
Internal application to the Senior Managers Regime
RTGS and CHAPS risk assessment
In October 2017, we published our second self-assessment of the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service against the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures, with point of assessment 30 June 2017. These are internationally agreed standards considered essential to strengthening and preserving financial stability.
While the RTGS service is not a payment system or a financial market infrastructure, we have undertaken the assessment mostly against the principles that apply to payment systems. We have also considered the CPMI-IOSCO guidance on how the principles apply to financial market infrastructures operated by central banks.
This year we judged that of the sixteen principles which apply to RTGS, we ‘observe’ fourteen and ‘broadly observe’ the other two (governance, and risk management). While the ratings are the same as the 2016 self-assessment, there has been considerable progress made across both governance and risk management between the two self-assessments.
The self-assessment is completed in our role as operator of the RTGS service and not in our capacity as supervisor of financial market infrastructures or banks. We plan to update broadly annually.
CHAPS Co, the previous operator of the CHAPS system, also completed self-assessments against the PFMIs.
Self-assessment of RTGS - October 2017
RTGS service description
Public disclosure and self-assessment of CHAPS by CHAPS Co (2017)
Self-assessment of RTGS - July 2016
Resilience of the RTGS service
The RTGS service needs to be extremely operationally reliable to support final settlement between accounts that providers hold with us. The service is managed within a clear governance framework. This covers strategy, delivery and risk management.
Changes to the RTGS service are carefully considered and tested, because of the potential for impact on our mission of maintaining monetary and financial stability. We engage on potential changes with account holders and the operators of the payment systems that settle in RTGS.
The RTGS service operates on fault-tolerant computer hardware which is replicated on a second site. The business operation is conducted on a split site basis. We have the option of using a third site and alternative technology in the form of SWIFT’s ‘Market Infrastructure Resiliency Service’.
Enhancing the resilience of the Bank's RTGS infrastructure