CHAPS euro clearing system to be switched off today

The Chaps Euro clearing system will close after nine years of service at the end of today (16 May).

The Chaps Euro clearing system will close after nine years of service at the end of today (16 May).

The system began operation in January 1999, and used the same settlement mechanisms as its sister service Chaps Sterling to provide a same-day domestic euro service as part of Target (the network of inter-linked national euro systems).

Clearing organisation Apacs said the decision to decommission the Chaps Euro service was taken after reassessing the UK's stance on the Euro, together with looking at current transaction volumes and other options now available for making euro payments.

In the first quarter of 2008, the number of Chaps Euro payments were at the lowest ever, with only 940 cheque or credit payments being processed in the first quarter.

In comparison, there were 2,019 payments processed during the first quarter of 2007.

When Chaps Euro was created in 1999, the UK was still contemplating joining the euopean currency. However, over time the UK's stance has become clearer, making the case for continuing to participate in the clearing system considerably weaker, said Apacs.

Apacs started to migrate to other Euro clearing systems from last November.

Chaps company manager David MacFarlane said, "While in operation, the Chaps Euro service provided the UK with an efficient, safe and reliable method for making euro payments.

"However, as time has progressed, options have emerged and evolved, and it is vital that the UK adapts with the times if it is to continue to offer payment users the best possible options for making payments."

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