Singapore, 21 October 2003

STEP2: Number of Participant Banks Reaches 800

800 + indirect participant banks now connected to STEP2; 18 direct participant banks signed up for November 2003

The EBA Clearing Company today confirmed that more than 800 banks have joined its pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH) STEP2 as indirect participants. In addition to these 800 plus indirect participants, STEP2 also has 31 direct participants on board with another 18 banks due to join the platform in November 2003.

STEP2 is the first Pan-European Automated Clearing House to process bulk retail payments in euro and is operated by the EBA Clearing Company.

“STEP2 offers already payments distribution to over 90 per cent of the European Union countries,” says Jean-Marie Avadian, Chairman of the EBA Clearing Company. “Discussions are underway to also extend full distribution to banks in the acceding EU member states.” 

Since its launch in April this year, the number of banks joining STEP2 as both direct and indirect participants has been steadily increasing.

STEP2 is based on the latest industry standards and provides banks with a costeffective platform for their Regulation-compliant credit transfers in euros. The system supports the banks in meeting their customer requirements in the new Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).