Continuous Linked Settlement:
RITS Session Times and Operational Arrangements – July 2015
3. Sesssion Arrangements

3.1. Additional Sessions

To meet the requirement for RITS to be open during the European morning, two additional sessions were introduced between the Settlement Close Session and the Reports Session, the Interim Session and the Evening Settlement Session. The times for these sessions are set out below and in section 4 – Details of Session Times.

The Interim Session commences at the end of the Settlement Close Session at 17:15, when the queue is shut down to allow end of (normal) day reports to be created. The queue automatically restarts in the Evening Settlement Session after Interim Session processing is complete, at around 17:20. More information on the Interim Session is provided in section 3.3 below.

The Evening Settlement Session allows settlement of:

  • Interbank Cash Transfer transactions in RITS. Note that transactions involving a non-Evening Agreed bank sent to the queue before the end of the Settlement Close Session and still queued at 17:15 will be deleted from the queue at the start of the Interim Session (see below). However, non-Evening Agreed banks will be able to enter new RITS Cash Transfer transactions during the Interim and Evening Settlement Sessions (from 17:15 to 22:00).
  • Certain LVSS transactions. With the introduction of same-day settlement of direct entry obligations in November 2013, arrangements were put in place to allow all ‘BECN’ FSIs to be eligible for settlement in the Evening Settlement Session, regardless of the evening agreed status of the participants. The last two of the five daily intraday multilateral settlement runs used for settlement of direct entry obligations occur during the Evening Settlement Session, commencing at 19:15 and 21:15.
  • Property batch settlements. The Property Settlement Batch allows transactions arising in the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) system to settle in RITS. Reservation of ES funds is followed by settlement. Property settlements reserved prior to the Evening Settlement Session may settle during this session, and new property settlements may be reserved and settled during this session.
  • Interbank transactions in Austraclear. All Austraclear ‘client’ transactions are removed from the System queue at the end of the Settlement Close Session. Austraclear transactions between banks flagged for evening transaction that were on the queue prior to 17:15 will remain on the System queue. New Austraclear transactions between banks can be entered from the Interim Session (17:15) until the Austraclear cut-off time (or SWIFT End Session) of 18:30 in standard time or 20:30 in summer time.

The above arrangements aim to provide liquidity managers with more certainty regarding those transactions which should be funded and settled by the end of the Settlement Close Session, while allowing opportunity for evening transactions, at the discretion of both paying and receiving banks. Thus only ‘two-sided’ (matched) RITS and Austraclear transactions involving a non-Evening Agreed bank are allowed (with the exception of the direct entry and property settlement arrangements).

  • SWIFT PDS transactions between two Evening Agreed banks (including MT103 messages arriving before the 16:30 cut-off for new payments of these types) may settle until 18:30 in standard time or 20:30 in summer time. The prohibition on input and settlement of SWIFT payments involving non-evening agreed banks prevents ESA funds accumulating in the evening in a non-Evening Agreed bank's ESA without its knowledge and that would be unavailable for lending to other banks as appropriate. Refer to section 3.2 below.

3.2. Session extensions

Whilst CLS settlements and associated payment activity cease normally at 18:30 in standard time and 20:30 in summer time, the Evening Settlement Session continues until 22:00 all year round to cater for the intraday multilateral settlement runs for direct entry obligations that occur in the evening. Hence, there should be ample time to extend SWIFT session times in the evening to resolve any CLS settlement difficulties that may arise, without the need to also extend the Evening Settlement Session.

However, in a contingency event, a further extension of the Evening Settlement Session is possible. This decision would be taken based on the circumstances on the day and following consultation with key participants. The latest time that the Reserve Bank would normally extend the Evening Settlement Session to is approximately 23:00. In extreme circumstances, later operations may be contemplated, in consultation with CLS settlement banks.

The Reports Session takes place for at least 30 minutes after the end of the Evening Settlement Session (22:00 to 22:30) to allow banks to receive final end of day reports.

Time period advices and on screen messages are given for the new sessions on the same basis as applied previously. A table of time period advice codes can be found in Appendix 3. Please note that this table is based on current session arrangements. If session arrangements are amended, the times at which particular time period advices are received may change, and the order in which they are received may change.

Banks that receive time period advices should note that at the start of the Evening Settlement Session, they will receive three advices. Two ‘revised’ advices (with an ‘R’ in field 912, rather than an ‘S’ for standard) will advise the revised end time of the Interim Session and the revised start time of the Evening Settlement Session. This is necessary as the Interim Session will not have a fixed end time; its length will vary daily. A ‘standard’ advice will advise the start of the Evening Settlement Session.

3.3. SWIFT Sessions

Provision has been made for SWIFT PDS MT103 customer transfers to cut off earlier than MT202 messages. Following consultation with banks, the cut-off time for new payments of these types is 16:30 for ALL banks. Payments arriving at SWIFT before the end of a particular SWIFT session are granted a short ‘grace period’ to get to RITS. Payments arriving at RITS during this grace period, but time stamped at SWIFT prior to the end of the previous session, are processed under the rules of the previous session.

3.4. Interim Session: Details

The Interim Session delineates between the end of the day operations and the beginning of the Evening Settlement Session. It commences at 17:15 each day (or later time if the end of the Settlement Close Session is extended).

Several events take place in the Interim Session:

  1. An on screen display and Time Period Advice notify the end of the Settlement Close Session/commencement of the Interim Session.
  2. At the request of the System Administrator, the interim cashlist job suite is run, which produces interim Cashlists, Cash Summary Reports and SWIFT ESA Statements.
  3. The queue processor scans for transactions ineligible for settlement in the Evening Settlement Session. Payments without an evening flag (refer to section 2.2) are deleted, and unsettled advices sent. Payments with an evening flag remain on the queue for settlement during the Evening Settlement Session.
  4. The queue automatically recommences testing for settlement, indicating the completion of the Interim Session and commencement of the Evening Settlement Session.
  5. An on screen display and Time Period Advice advise that the Evening Settlement Session has commenced. Reports are then available for posting to clients' accounts.

During the Interim Session, inter-bank RITS transactions, SWIFT payments and inter-bank Austraclear transactions may be entered, subject to Evening Settlement Session and SWIFT Final Settlement Session rules. However, these transactions will not be tested for settlement until the Evening Settlement Session opens.