RTGS Renewal Programme

The RTGS Renewal Programme will deliver the next generation of our real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service.

Overview

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

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.

Transition plan

On 17 January 2022, following consultation with CHAPS Direct Participants, we announced a revised timetable for the implementation of the RTGS Renewal Programme.

The new timetable follows a review in late 2021, incorporating feedback from CHAPS Direct Participants. It considered a range of factors covering both known and emerging risks, dependencies with other global implementations of ISO 20022 messaging, and against a backdrop of continuing uncertainty about the future path of the pandemic. The new timeline maintains the move to enhanced ISO 20022 messaging in spring 2023, but instead of a two-stage process with the first stage in June 2022 and the second stage in February 2023, it will now be undertaken in a single stage in April 2023.

The revised Programme timeline has been designed to:

  • Maintain the resilience of the existing RTGS service and ensure the renewed service, including the core settlement engine, is delivered to the highest levels of resilience and availability. This includes a comprehensive testing programme to ensure that both the wider industry and the Bank are ready to adopt the new services;
  • Maintain the move by CHAPS to the enhanced version of the new global payment messaging standard – ISO 20022 – in spring 2023;
  • Ensure that the timing of CHAPS migration is consistent with and supports industry adoption of the broader global migration programme of high value payments systems to ISO 20022; and
  • Promote the successful delivery of enhanced ISO 20022 messaging, both domestically and globally, and retain timely delivery of industry benefits for both CHAPS participants and RTGS users.

The key milestones and events are:

  • Following a successful round of connectivity testing with CHAPS Direct Participants in November 2021, the Bank will launch a test simulator in February 2022, with training from January.
  • In summer 2022 the Bank will launch a new, end-to-end, enhanced ISO 20022-enabled CHAPS Pilot Platform. This will allow an extended period in which CHAPS Direct Participants can test enhanced messaging, and provide greater confidence in community readiness prior to CHAPS transitioning to ISO 20022.
  • CHAPS will both switch from the SWIFT MT to MX (ISO) networks, and support enhanced ISO messaging in a single event in April 2023. The later date for the support of enhanced ISO messaging (previously February 2023) reflects requests from the CHAPS community to provide a larger gap after the SWIFT cross-border, ECB TARGET2 and EBA Euro1 enhanced ISO go-live events in November 2022.
  • The new RTGS core settlement engine will now be introduced in spring 2024, rather than autumn 2023. This date is subject to a +/- 3 month variance which will be further refined in collaboration with industry in the coming months.

We are grateful to key CHAPS Direct Participants for their input to the revised plan, which aims to ensure a smooth and safe delivery for industry as a whole.

As part of the broader RTGS Renewal Programme we will launch two consultations in spring 2022. One will seek views from a wider range of current and prospective stakeholders on how RTGS can support the future of payments once we have delivered the new RTGS core settlement engine in spring 2024. In particular it will consider the vision and direction for the service, and industry’s priorities for our delivery of new functionality into the RTGS system thereafter. The other will propose the framework for the new RTGS/CHAPS Tariff (the means by which the Bank recovers costs from its participants) once the renewed system is in place.

Further details of potential impacts to various industry parties can be found on the Summary of changes to the Bank’s ISO 20022 migration announced January 2022 webpage.

How we are governed

RTGS Renewal Committee

The RTGS Renewal Committee (a sub-committee of Court) governs the RTGS Renewal Programme. The Committee is comprised of two Court non-executive members, two RTGS/CHAPS Board independent members, the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer and the Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking. It is responsible for overseeing the delivery, overall scope and financial management of the RTGS Renewal Programme. Its responsibilities are set out in the Matters Reserved to Court document.

The Renewal Committee works closely with the RTGS/CHAPS Board which provides strategic leadership for RTGS and CHAPS. While the RTGS Renewal Committee is responsible for the delivery of RTGS Renewal, the RTGS/CHAPS Board is responsible for strategic decisions to manage the impact and risk to the live RTGS and CHAPS services from the Renewal Programme including ensuring all participants are ready to transition to the new RTGS service. The Board and the RTGS Renewal Committee are jointly responsible for the key decisions to transition to the new RTGS service. Information flows and consultation requirements are in place between RRC and Board on matters that would impact the others’ responsibilities.

The Bank’s RTGS Renewal Programme includes a significant engagement programme with key stakeholders, including through the Senior Sponsors' Body.

Further information

Speeches and publications from the Senior Leadership Team

As part of their regular speaking engagements, senior representatives of the Bank of England have been spreading the message about RTGS Renewal. Read a selection of these speeches in full.

Latest news

If you have any questions on the RTGS Renewal Programme, please contact RTGSengagement@bankofengland.co.uk, or see our latest news on our RTGS Renewal Programme news page.

This page was last updated 22 March 2022

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