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ASX calls in Accenture to assess Chess replacement project

ASX calls in Accenture to assess Chess replacement project

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has called in consultants from Accenture to run the rule over its much-delayed blockchain-based post-trade network.

The ASX has been working with DLT specialist Digital Asset since 2017 to replace its Chess post-trade settlement system with a blockchain-based platform.

Initally set for go-live in April 2021, the project has suffered multiple delays.

Ina statement on the appointment of Acenture, the market operator says: "ASX and Digital Asset, our application software provider, have identified that more development is required than previously anticipated to meet ASX’s scalability and resilience requirements for the application. This is contributing to delays to the delivery of the remaining technical components of the application."

The Exchange says the review by Accenture will also identify necessary actions for ASX to communicate a revised timetable to finish the project, adding that it does not expect the go-live date to be before late 2024.

Australia's securities regulator and central bank have expressed disappointment at the project's slow pace.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe says: "The delay in the go-live date for the Chess replacement system is disappointing. The review initiated by ASX is an important step in providing assurance that the new Chess application software will be fit for purpose. The replacement system must be safe and reliable to maintain investor confidence and the stability of Australia’s financial system.’

Responding to market concerns, ASX’s managing director and CEO, Helen Lofthouse, says: “I know our customers will be as disappointed as I am with the uncertainty about the timeline for completion. I apologise for the uncertainty and thank them for their close and constructive work with us on this important project."

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