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CLS Bank adds support for Mexican Peso and Israeli Shekel

27 May 2008  |  1819 views  |  0 Source: CLS Bank International

CLS Bank International (CLS Bank) announces that it will settle payment instructions in two new currencies for the first time this week.

This brings to seventeen the number of currencies eligible to settle through CLS Bank.

Following regulatory approval, the Mexican Peso and Israeli Shekel have been designated as CLS Bank Settlement Eligible Currencies by the CLS Bank Board of Directors. The extension of the CLS Bank service to these currencies enhances systemic stability in the settlement of foreign exchange transactions, and over half of all CLS Bank Members will be able to settle in these two currencies immediately.

The new currencies join the existing fifteen, the Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Danish Krone, euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, Korean Won, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Singapore Dollar, South African Rand, Swedish Krona, Swiss Franc, UK Pound Sterling, and US Dollar as CLS Bank eligible currencies.

CLS Bank eliminates FX settlement risk through the world's first simultaneous global multi-currency settlement system, settling payment instructions derived from foreign exchange deals. CLS Bank is currently settling an average daily volume of over 500,000 instructions with a gross value of $4 trillion. CLS Bank currently provides its settlement service to over 2,500 participants. Of these, 61 are CLS Bank Members, including two new Members from Israel: Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Over the last few months, CLS Bank has extended its service to include non-deliverable forward (NDF) foreign exchange transactions and a central settlement service for over-the-counter (OTC) credit derivatives transactions in partnership with The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

Rob Close, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Group and President and CEO of CLS Bank, said: "Bringing the benefits of CLS Settlement to an ever wider community of stakeholders is central to our strategy of growing the value of CLS to the market. CLS eligibility can bring many benefits to a currency and its economy, including support for currency internationalisation and increased cross border trading and investment. The local banking systems in Israel and Mexico will also experience the risk and efficiency benefits that CLS participation will bring, and we are very pleased to welcome these two new currencies to the CLS community."

Banco de México Governor, Guillermo Ortiz, commented: "I am pleased that agents who trade Mexican pesos in the foreign exchange market have now the necessary infrastructure to operate in a more efficient and safe manner. The inclusion of the Mexican currency into the CLS service is an important step to enhance financial stability in our country.

To prepare for the incorporation of the peso as a CLS settlement currency, Banco de México has worked closely with Mexican banks and CLS Bank principally to ensure a sound legal basis under our jurisdiction and to guarantee the operational readiness of the local payment system (SPEI: Sistema de Pagos Electrónicos Interbancarios)."

Stanley Fischer, the Governor of the Bank of Israel, noted that "The inclusion of the Israeli Shekel as a settlement currency in CLS is a significant further step in Israel's increasing integration into the global economy. By reducing settlement risk in FX transactions, vital to Israel's open economy, it reinforces the stability and efficiency of Israel's banks and financial system, and benefits the entire economy. We are pleased that the ongoing reform of the payments system undertaken by the Bank of Israel, including the introduction of an RTGS system and adoption of a modern payments system law, along with the Bank's close cooperation with CLS Bank, the new Israeli members of the CLS service and others has made this possible."

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