In order to fulfil the admission criteria for STEP2, a Direct Participant must:
- be authorised to conduct banking business
- have TARGET2 account access, i.e.
(a) have a direct participant status in TARGET2 or the status of an indirect participant in TARGET2 with multi-addressee access, or
(b) have a central bank which undertakes to provide a TARGET2 account for settlement for such Direct Participant
- be able to send files in the required format, i.e. be able to send STEP2 Files in the format specified by EBA CLEARING;
- have its registered office or a branch in the EEA / SEPA, i.e. participate in the system via an office located in the EEA or, for the SEPA Services, in the geographical area of SEPA
- provide a capacity opinion, i.e. provide a capacity opinion with respect to its participation for each STEP2 Service it participates in.
In addition to the above, for each of the STEP2 SEPA Services (SCT, SDD Core and SDD B2B), it is a condition for admission to a given service that the applicant has adhered to the corresponding SEPA Scheme Rulebook of the European Payment Council.
Direct Participants may include entities which have a BIC (ISO9362) for which a Direct Participant has been appointed (a “Reachable BIC”) in the routing tables maintained for STEP2. Reachable BICs do not send or receive payment orders directly through STEP2; all payment orders are included in the files sent and received by the Direct Participants. The relationship between a Direct Participant and a Reachable BIC for which the Direct Participant is acting in relation to the receipt or forwarding of messages contained in files is exclusively governed by their respective bilateral arrangements and is outside of the context of the STEP2-T system.
A Direct Participant will be removed from the system by the System Operator in case of a confirmed insolvency event affecting the Direct Participant.
Operational defaults will be addressed in first instance through the activation of incident handling and, as applicable, crisis management arrangements.
Events that may give rise to exclusion comprise in particular:
- termination of TARGET2 access
- loss of banking license
The criteria for participation in STEP2 consist of necessary technical and operational requirements to enable sending and receiving of files, and requirements that are necessary to enable participation in the settlement arrangements.
A Direct Participant may be suspended if non-compliance with the ongoing criteria for participation cannot be otherwise mitigated, e.g. in the case of relocation outside the EEA / SEPA.
For more information on the STEP2 pricing, please click here.