EBF-Richtlinien zum Liquiditätsmanagement

30. September 1999

The introduction of the euro in the interbank markets as of 4th January 1999 has dramatically affected intraday liquidity management within individual banks. The end of the traditional payment system model, where banks settle in the country of issue over a maximum of one, possibly two, systems (gross & net settlement systems), has undoubtedly complicated liquidity management since each bank now has the choice of up to twenty different payment systems (15 RTGS systems, the TARGET interlinking, 3 domestic-based netting systems and the EBA EURO1 system) to settle their payments in euro, with all the consequences it has on liquidity pooling.

It is important for any effective high-value payment system, and in particular RTGS systems, to manage liquidity effectively. Poor liquidity management will immobilise liquidity which could be used elsewhere, and it can cause transaction delays or gridlock. However, central banks are not planning to impose solutions but expect industry bodies to take initiatives to avoid liquidity problems from arising in the euro-environment - e.g. by agreeing on market conventions which would encourage market participants to recirculate liquidity in a timely fashion, reducing the amount of liquidity which needs to be injected into the system, whilst avoiding gridlock. The EU Banking Federation therefore welcomes the initiatives which have recently been taken by various groups of market practitioners - such as the Euro Banking Association and the "Heathrow Group" - to help smooth liquidity in the euro-environment.

The decisions of banks, and indirectly their customers, on the most efficient way to handle payments and to manage liquidity will be decisive for the future EMU-wide payment infrastructure. If the development over time of this future infrastructure may involve some "trial and error", everything possible must be done to avoid putting market confidence in the infrastructure at risk. No bank will be able to compete effectively in the field of payment systems unless it has a stable platform at the start. The EU Banking Federation has therefore decided to issue a series of guidelines to ensure that flows channelled through euro payment systems are maintained at an acceptable level, as recommended by the European Central Bank. […]

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