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A new clearing cycle, that of night-time clearing, begins operation in the electronic clearing system (EKS) of Latvijas Banka on the night of 6 May. It will provide faster and more convenient interbank payments for businesses and population, the participants in the EKS system.

Latvia's interbank payment system is among the most advanced such systems in Europe.  The operation and clearing cycles of the EKS system maintained by Latvijas Banka are aligned with the STEP2 interbank payment system which is widely used in international settlements, thereby ensuring SEPA compliant, fast and low-cost euro payments to recipients both in Latvia and Europe.

By introducing this new night-time clearing cycle, Latvijas Banka has made one step forward to meet the needs of its customers, commercial banks and other institutions among them. This is a regular step on the road Latvijas Banka took to in 1998, i.e. the road towards an up-to-date and more efficient interbank settlement system in Latvia. This recent innovation is of particular importance for customers of those credit institutions that are participants in the EKS system.

A new night-time clearing cycle with settlements executed at 21:00 is added to the EKS system operation. This new cycle will enable the participants in the EKS system to accelerate the processing of payment orders, submitted at the end of the business day, and their sending to the recipient institutions that are both participating in the EKS and reachable via the STEP2 system. Those beneficiaries which are participating in the EKS will be enabled to transfer funds to the accounts of their customers at night or early in the morning, while those credit institutions other than participants in the EKS but participating in the STEP2 system will do it soon after 9.00, i.e. around two hours sooner than thus far when the execution of transactions has only been possible after 11.00 (a precise time depends on each individual commercial bank).

From now on, there will be seven interbank payment processing cycles in the EKS system: at 9.15, 10.30, 11.45, 14.15, 16.15, 18.15 and 21.00. These changes will be of particular significance for customers of those banks that directly participate in the EKS system (a full list is available at: https://www.bank.lv/en/about-us/tasks/payment-systems/eks).

The EKS settlement cycles have been changed by introducing amendments, in March 2015, to the "Procedure for Participation in the Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka" of 9 September 2010.