Paris, 4 March 2005

EBA CLEARING and CCI Madrid sign mou on the use of the STEP2 platform for domestic payments in Spain

The Centro de Cooperacion Interbancaria (CCI) Madrid and EBA CLEARING this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation between the two organisations with a view to establishing a formal agreement on the use of the STEP2 pan-European ACH platform by the banks in Spain for processing their domestic retail payments. The Memorandum foresees that detailed discussions will be conducted through different working groups on specific functionality and settlement requirements of the banks in Spain, as well as on issues related to access and governance.

These discussions form an integral part of the work carried out by EBA CLEARING together with the broader banking community in the EU in an effort to facilitate the necessary migration of payments traffic from legacy infrastructure to a new, pan-European payments infrastructure.

“The creation of SEPA and the introduction of new, pan-European payment instruments represent a real change of horizon for both the banks’ business strategies and for the resulting infrastructure requirements,” says Eutimio Morales, President of CCI. ”For us, the outlook of using a pan-European infrastructure means avoiding a duplication of investments, reducing operating costs and taking full advantage of the latest technology available.”

“We are very pleased to work closely with the Spanish banks on achieving the right infrastructure solution for retail payments in Europe, as we believe that this European infrastructure solution will be the best basis for the banks in serving their customers at home and in the wider Euroland,” adds Gilbert Lichter, CEO of EBA CLEARING.

Press Contacts:

Daniel Szmukler, Tel: +33 1 53 67 07 12 (

Annick Moes, Tel: +33 1 53 67 07 20 (

Note to Editors:

STEP2 is the first pan-European clearing system for bulk payments in euro. The system is operated by EBA CLEARING ( and processes retail payments of up to 12,500 euro (50,000 euro as from January 2006) per transaction. Following the requirements of EC Regulation 2560/2001, each payment instruction needs to bear, among others, the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of the beneficiary and the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) of the beneficiary's bank in order to comply with STEP2's straight-through processing (STP) criteria

Currently, 89 direct participants and more than 1,500 indirect participants send on average 185,000 transactions per day through the system. Capable of executing Regulation-compliant cross-border and domestic credit transfers at low cost, STEP2 is of vital importance to the European banking industry in its progressive migration towards the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). STEP2 was implemented in cooperation with SIA S.p.A. as a technology partner and SWIFT as a messaging partner.