Today the Council of Latvijas Banka amended several legal acts in the light of the implementation of preparatory activities for the introduction of instant payments at panEuropean level.
The Council of Latvijas Banka amended Procedure No. 183/3 "Participation Procedure in Latvijas Banka's Electronic Clearing System (EKS)" of 9 September 2010 and Procedure No. 186/4 "Participation Procedure in TARGET2-Latvija" of 4 November 2010 to ensure the execution of instant payments between the EKS of Latvijas Banka and the RT1 system of EBA Clearing from 21 November 2017.
Since August, the EKS of Latvijas Banka has been providing an opportunity for Latvian credit institutions to offer instant payments to their customers. JSC Citadele banka was the first credit institution that joined the instant payment system of Latvijas Banka.
Instant payments are funds transfers provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays and weekends. Customer payments are executed within a few seconds and the money received can be reused immediately. This is a very significant change as previously payments between European banks were only available on business days and a transfer took several hours.
The instant payment system RT1 of the company EBA Clearing established by European banks will go live on 21 November 2017, and JSC SEB banka intends to start offering instant payments to its customers via the above system as from this date. Thus, it will be possible to make instant payments among customers of JSC Citadele banka and JSC SEB banka as well as among customers of these banks and customers of the European banks which will join the above RT1 system (the list of RT1 system participants is available here). JSC Swedbank, the largest Latvian commercial bank in terms of the value and volume of customer payments, also intends to offer this service as soon as possible following the completion of infrastructure and functionality tests.
Latvijas Banka organises and maintains the payment infrastructure in Latvia, including two automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET2-Latvija is one of the component systems of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer system, whereas the EKS is used for the processing of retail interbank payments.
In 2016, TARGET2-Latvija processed 429.2 thousand payments totalling 235.1 billion euro, whereas the EKS system handled 40.3 million payments with the total value of 54.0 billion euro. In the first half of 2017, TARGET2-Latvija processed 225.3 thousand payments totalling 116.1 billion euro, whereas the EKS system handled 20.9 million payments with the total value of 26.7 billion euro. More detailed information is available at:https://www.bank.lv/statistika/maksajumu-sist-statistika/starpbanku-maksajumu-sistemu-statistika.
Latvijas Banka, acting in the public and economic interest, carries out several tasks significant for each and every inhabitant, financial markets and the public at large:
– participates in the formulation and implementation of the euro area's monetary policy;
– issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
– discharges the function of the central national currency authentication centre;
– maintains the interbank payment systems' infrastructure and promotes their smooth operation;
– manages the foreign reserves and other financial investments;
– acts as the financial agent of Latvia's government and provides financial services to other market participants;
– compiles and publishes financial, monetary statistics and balance of payments statistics;
– maintains and develops the Credit Register;
– acts as an advisor to the Parliament and Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on monetary policy issues and other issues related to Latvijas Banka's operation.
Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka raise public awareness of the development of the economy and the monetary system, the current situation and the economic policy being pursued. Latvijas Banka takes an active part in educating the general public on various economic topics.