Regulators focusing on clearing and settlement risks, says Tower

Business continuity issues involved in the clearing and settlement process are becoming a focal point for regulators, according to a new report published by US consultancy, Tower Group.

In the aftermath of September 11, Tower identified growing concerns about potential points of failure in the payment system, particularly in the wake of consolidation among larger banks, the inter-connectedness of payment networks and the concentration of clearing systems in major cities globally.

The Group believes the problems are particularly critical at the top-end of the market, among those institutions that provide the foundation for wholesale payments clearing and settlement services.

The Bank for International Settlements is introducing new guidelines in this area, and US regulators are presently introducing initiatives related to disaster preparedness and business continuity issues surrounding wholesale payments clearing.

Tower said additional requirements aimed at making high-value US payments systems more resilient are required, as well as the new supervisory expectations for major payment clearing banks.

The findings were published in 'Emerging Factors in Wholesale Payments System Resiliency in the US', published yesterday.

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