The European Central Bank has delayed the launch of a new real-time gross settlement system and central liquidity management model, T2, by four months until next March in order to give some member states more time for testing.
The go-live had been set for next month but, following an assessment by the ECB’s Market Infrastructure Board, it was concluded that there is a need to allow users more time to complete their testing in a stable environment.
"The decision also took into account the importance and systemic nature of T2, especially in view of the current geopolitical conditions and volatile financial markets," says a statement.
The large value payments system project, years in the making, brings together the RTGS system and the securities settlement platform run by the Eurosystem.
It also unifies the technical and functional aspects of the Target2 and Target2-Securities platforms and introduces new common and optimised features. In addition, RTGS will replace Target2 and optimise liquidity management across all Target Services.
Says the ECB: "While most users would have been ready for the scheduled go-live date, others would not have fully completed their testing. Delays encountered by market participants were also due to the temporary unavailability of the test environment and initial software deficiencies."
The central banks of Germany, France, Spain and Italy have been responsible for delivering the software and providing the test environment.
The decision appears to be having a knock-on effect on Swift, as reported by Payment Infrastructure News Twitter account, which quotes the messaging network as informing members: "In light of the ECB's announcement, we will leverage this planning, validate with our global community, and, within one week, either re-confirm or revise the planned start date of the cross-border ISO 20022 migration."