CLS settlement "100% on time"

P>Disruptions in the CLS ‘ecosystem’ that could potentially have derailed the service’s five-hour time window for payments have included operational problems at un-named settlement members [those banks with direct CLS accounts] and some problems with the Swift messaging service, reported CLS.

These problems "have not caused us to miss our deadlines", said Joseph De Feo, president and chief executive of CLS Bank International, the repository for all payments made through CLS. "The first-class recovery capability is working out extremely well," he said, speaking at a CLS seminar held in New York on March 12.

CLS now settles around $700 billion in volume a day, in around 60,000 ‘sides’ (each deal has two sides). That represents about half the total global FX volume transacted daily, according to the latest figures from the Bank for International Settlements.

Consolidating on these volumes, CLS now aims to add more currencies to expand its existing suite of seven CLS-eligible units -- the US dollar, euro, yen, sterling, Swiss franc and Australian and Canadian dollars. The service adds settlement in the Swedish krona, Danish kroner, Norwegian krone and Singapore dollar later this year. Another four are likely to be added in 2004, said De Feo, potentially including the New Zealand and Hong Kong dollars. The South African and Korean central banks are also keen for their currencies to join the service, he said, adding that participation in CLS is becoming almost a "rite of passage" for countries moving from being a developing country to a developed country.

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