Oversight of payment systems: the Eurosystem’s common methodology

12 November 2007

The oversight of euro payment systems is an essential function of the Eurosystem. In policy terms the Eurosystem relies on minimum standards that payment systems are expected to meet, including those set out in the “Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems (G10 standards, adopted in 2001), the “Oversight standards for euro retail payment systems” (adopted in 2003) and the “Business continuity oversight expectations for systemically important payment systems” (hereafter referred to as the “BCOE for SIPS”, adopted in 2006).

Today, the ECB is publishing the Eurosystem’s common methodology for the assessment, for oversight purposes, of systemically and prominently important euro payment systems against the aforementioned oversight standards.

With a view to establishing a common methodology for the Eurosystem, the ECB consulted the public on two documents that constituted a draft of the common methodology, namely the “Terms of reference for the oversight assessment of euro systemically and prominently important payment systems against the Core Principles” and an implementation guide for the assessment of the BCOE for SIPS. The consultation period started on 14 May 2007 and ended on 14 August 2007. The Eurosystem central banks did not receive any comments on the draft common methodology.

The common Eurosystem methodology is aimed at providing the Eurosystem’s payment systems oversight function with clear and comprehensive guidelines for the assessment of the relevant systems and the preparation of the respective oversight reports. The Eurosystem believes that making the common methodology publicly available will provide payment system designers and operators with enhanced insight into overseers’ safety and efficiency concerns, give operators additional incentives to continue their efforts to mitigate or limit the various risks their systems may face and, ultimately, help to ensure the smooth functioning of their systems. The Eurosystem wishes to point out that ensuring compliance with the Eurosystem’s oversight policies remains the responsibility of the operators of euro payment systems.

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