A confidential letter obtained by Finextra Research shows unanimous support for the postponement of the T2-T2S consolidation project by leading banks during the latest Advisory Group on Market Infrastructures for Payments (AMI Pay) meeting where the delay was discussed.
The letter, dated 12 May 2020, was circulated by the Federal Association of Public Banks (VÖB) and references a letter sent to the ECB 6 days prior, in which a group of European banking bodies called on the European Central Bank to delay the T2-T2S consolidation programme.
The four bodies cited a combination of the challenges presented by Covid-19 in conjunction with Swift’s decision to delay ISO 20022 migration as key arguments toward a delay.
The VÖB letter (translated from German) reads: “At the AMI Pay meeting, the ECB took note of the unanimous support of the banking community for postponing the T2/T2S consolidation by one year. In the discussion, this demand was supported by all bank representatives from all countries. The Bundesbank also advocated a postponement. Only the Spanish took a more neutral position. Overall, the bank representatives pressed for a quick decision by the ECB.
“The ECB notes that a 12-month postponement is serious and that it must take into account the dependencies on non-European RTGS systems, SWIFT and other clearing houses. The ECB will therefore launch a survey in May 2020 to assess the dependencies on the other options. The ECB will evaluate the survey in the short term and intends to announce its decision in June 2020.”
The letter concludes that “according to an unofficial assessment, a shift [in timeline] is likely. It remains to be seen whether the shift will be a full 12 months.”
The VÖB adds that it will be in touch regarding the upcoming ECB survey.