CLS Bank live at last

CLS Bank live at last

CLS Bank International, a foreign exchange settlement system established by 66 of the world's top banks, has received authorisation from the Federal Reserve to begin operations and has begun live trading.

An initial 39 banking shareholders have passed trials for CLS Bank Settlement Membership and will start today to begin settling instructions for their bank-to-bank foreign exchange activity. The service - which aims to eliminate temporal risk in cross-border currency trading through a process of continuous linked settlement (CLS) - will be expanded by the end of the year to include customers of Settlement Members.

Joseph De Feo, chief executive of CLS Group Holdings and president of CLS Bank International comments: "We are 'live' with our first Settlement Members and in the coming weeks will ensure there are no negative impacts to the market before CLS is rolled out fully."

CLS shareholders claim responsibility for 80% of the world's foreign exchange business by value. The idea to build the system was first mooted in the mid-1990s but has suffered successive technical hiccups - most notably last year when a live launch planned for October was delayed at the last minute due to problems in testing IBM-supplied software.

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