CLS hit by yet more set-backs

CLS had planned to begin live trials next month, but testing of its IBM software, which began in August, has uncovered significant operational difficulties for banks using the system.

Joseph De Feo, chief executive of the CLS Group, said: "CLS Group is ready to go live and our shareholders and their suppliers are technically and operationally ready to start the live trials, but we are dependent on the implementation of a tested IT system."

IBM has suggested the delayed start date to allow a more thorough testing phase to be completed, so trials have now been put back to the first quarter of next year. This will allow a fully live service to be available in the following quarter, said De Feo.

"Creating an IT backbone for the world's largest clearing and settlement system has been an unprecedented task," said Brian Sellwood, general manager, IBM global services, north region. "This timetable gives us the time we need to test and strengthen CLS' IT infrastructure, while addressing the evolving requirements of the system. CLS will be an important component of the global financial industry's infrastructure, and we believe it is the right decision to take the time to ensure that its IT underpinnings are robust."

De Feo added: "We are linking many of the world's central banks with over 60 major financial institutions on a real-time basis. We cannot compromise on any aspect of the preparations for the launch of the service. All our stakeholders will work with IBM to help them complete the final stage of testing."

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