Paris, 27 August 2014

Systemic importance of STEP2 reflects evolution of EBA CLEARING’s euro retail payment platform

The European Central Bank identifies both STEP2 and EURO1 as Systemically Important Payment Systems

EBA CLEARING is pleased to note the recent announcement of the European Central Bank, which has identified the Company’s pan-European automated clearing house STEP2 as one of the Systemically Important Payment Systems (SIPS) in Europe, together with STET’s CORE(FR), TARGET2 and EBA CLEARING’s large-value payment system EURO1.

“The designation of STEP2 as a SIPS is a remarkable confirmation and recognition of the strategy and work that went into the development of STEP2, the financial industry’s pan-European clearing platform for euro payments” said Erkki Poutiainen, Chairman of EBA CLEARING. “It reflects the exceptional evolution of STEP2 since the launch of the SEPA Schemes and the system’s strategic relevance across Europe.”

“EBA CLEARING now has the rare privilege to be entrusted with operating two SIPS,” said Gilbert Lichter, Chief Executive Officer of EBA CLEARING. “STEP2 is a highly robust cornerstone of the banks’ SEPA infrastructure, as proven during the migration process, and we have already taken a number of key steps towards compliance with the new ECB Regulation, including the implementation of a third processing site for STEP2.”

The four payment systems were identified by the European Central Bank (ECB) as SIPS on 21st August 2014 (see ECB press release). They are therefore covered by the new ECB Regulation on oversight requirements for systemically important payment systems, which entered into force on 12th August 2014. Following the ECB announcement, the SIPS providers have one year to comply with the requirements laid down in this Regulation.

The systems were identified as SIPS according to the combination of at least two of four main criteria, i.e. the value of payments settled, market share, cross-border relevance and provision of services to other infrastructures. The Eurosystem will review this list annually on the basis of updated statistical data.


EBA CLEARING is a provider of pan-European payment infrastructure solutions. The Company was founded in 1998 and is owned by 62 of the major banks operating in Europe.

EBA CLEARING manages the large-value payment system EURO1 as well as STEP1, a payment service for commercial transactions.

Since 2003, EBA CLEARING has also been managing the STEP2 platform, together with SIA as technology partner.

STEP2 is a pan-European payment infrastructure for mass payments (PanEuropean Automated Clearing House – PE-ACH) providing full reach to all financial institutions across Europe processing credit transfers and direct debits in euro. More than 4,800 financial institutions in 34 countries are reachable via STEP2.

Apart from cross-border transactions, the STEP2 platform processes domestic payments for the banking communities in Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg and Ireland as well as for numerous major banks in other countries, e.g. Germany, Italy and Latvia.

The STEP2 balances are settled via TARGET2.

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