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Created on 13.11.2014

Today the Council of Latvijas Banka approved amendments to the "Procedure for Participation in the Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka" of 9 September 2010 (in effect as of 1 January 2015).

The Council of Latvijas Banka had already amended the Appendix "System Rules for Participation in the EKS" to the "Procedure for Participation in the Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka" on 15 September 2014.

Amendments were made in view of the support extended by the EKS participants to the changes in the above system's development. In Latvia, the operation of the EKS is ensured on business days transferred by the Cabinet of Ministers Decree as of November 2014 (the first business day has been transferred from Monday, 17 November to Saturday, 22 November), where the relevant dates are the holidays of the euro payment system TARGET2. Hence those credit institutions which are participants in the EKS can provide for a faster execution of customer payments and thereby facilitate a fully-fledged operation of companies on the transferred business days.

Moreover, on 9 December 2014 it is planned to establish a connection of the EKS with STEP2, maintained by EBA Clearing, with Latvijas Banka becoming a direct participant in STEP2 and terminating the connection of the EKS with RPS SEPA Clearer, maintained by Deutsche Bundesbank, which is providing an indirect access of the EKS participants to STEP2 until the above date. Hence credit institutions which are participants in the EKS will be able to extend the deadline for the payment receipt from customers by one hour and enhance the procedure for handling customer payments.

Today the Council of Latvijas Banka raised commissions charged for the processing of SEPA credit transfer order, SEPA payment return order, SEPA payment cancellation or SEPA resolution of investigation in the EKS in order to cover a cost increase related to the connection of the EKS with STEP2 and operation of the EKS on the transferred business days.

Commissions have increased by 0.27–2.76 cents per payment, depending on the use of the EKS (the number of payments submitted by each customer). In view of the fact that the commissions of the EKS only account for a minor share of commissions paid by credit institutions, Latvijas Banka forecasts that the above changes will not affect prices of payment services in Latvia's credit institutions.

Credit institutions were notified of the expected changes in the above EKS commissions during the process of preparing the EKS development-related activities and drafting amendments to the relevant laws and regulations. Credit institutions raised no objections to the planned changes on account of the EKS development-related benefits.