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Today the Council of Latvijas Banka adopted amendments to Regulation No 183/3 "Regulation for the Participation Procedure in the Bank of Latvia's Electronic Clearing System", providing for a reduction in the payment processing fees of Latvijas Banka's electronic clearing system (EKS) and amendments to Regulation No 217/1 "Procedure for Participation in the Eurosystem Monetary Policy Operations Organised by Latvijas Banka"

On changes in the EKS system fees

Today the Council of Latvijas Banka adopted amendments to Regulation No 183/3 "Regulation for the Participation Procedure in the Bank of Latvia's Electronic Clearing System" of 9 September 2010, providing for a reduction in the payment processing fees of Latvijas Banka's electronic clearing system (EKS) as of 1 April 2016.

The payments handled by the EKS system fall into several categories based on the monthly volume of payments submitted for processing by an EKS system participant. Payment processing fees are reduced for all categories, with the most significant cut planned in the category of more than 300 000 payments per month. Depending on the payment category, the reductions range from 2.27% to 42.86%.

Latvijas Banka organises and maintains the payment infrastructure in Latvia, including two fully automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET2-Latvija system is one of the component systems of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer system, whereas the EKS system is a net settlement system used for the processing of retail interbank payments in euro. Latvijas Banka continues to develop the EKS system's infrastructure, inter alia actively preparing itself for the implementation of the instant payment service as of 2017.

In 2015, TARGET2-Latvija system processed 359 thousand payments totalling 265 billion euro, whereas the EKS system handled 38 million payments with the total value of 52 billion euro.

On changes to the procedure for participation in monetary policy operations

Today the Council of Latvijas Banka approved amendments to Regulation No 217/1 "Procedure for Participation in the Eurosystem Monetary Policy Operations Organised by Latvijas Banka" of 12 December 2013 (to take effect on 25 January 2016).

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) approved amendments to the Guideline of the European Central Bank on the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy framework (ECB/2014/60) and adopted the Guideline of the European Central Bank on the valuation haircuts applied in the implementation of the Eurosystem monetary policy framework (ECB/2015/35) on 18 November 2015. The central banks of the Eurosystem have to implement these documents by 25 January 2016.

With a view to introducing the changes in Latvia, amendments to Appendix 1 "Rules for Implementing the Eurosystem Monetary Policy Operations Organised by Latvijas Banka" of the Procedure (hereinafter – Rules) were made.

Several changes to the Rules have been introduced. The definition of own-used covered bonds has been further elaborated. An additional valuation haircut will be applied only to those bonds that are used as collateral by the respective counterparty in the monetary policy operations, instead of applying the haircut to the entire bond issue.

Non-marketable debt instruments backed by eligible credit claims (DECCs) will be submitted as collateral in Eurosystem's monetary policy operations also in the event of cross-border use of assets.

Other changes and revisions have also been made.