2005 Self-assessment of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System Core Principle IX

The system should have objective and publicly disclosed criteria for participation, which permit fair and open access.

9.1 Assessment of Compliance

RITS complies with this principle. The RITS Regulations set out the broad process of applying for membership; the Reserve Bank's powers and responsibilities relating to membership applications; and conditions placed on existing members.

9.2 Access Policy

Because RITS settles in central bank money, an ESA at the Reserve Bank is a prerequisite for settling in RITS.[1] RITS is the only means of access by ESA holders to these accounts. The Reserve Bank's policy relating to eligibility for ESAs (and therefore membership of RITS as an ESA holder) was announced by media release in 1999. Subsequent policy changes relating to the operation of ESAs are generally put on the Reserve Bank's website.

Eligibility for an ESA is based on criteria that are set by the Reserve Bank's Payments System
Board. In summary, applicants for ESAs must be:

  • an actual or prospective provider of third-party (customer) payment services with a need to settle clearing obligations with other providers; and
    • In general, applicants must be current or prospective members of a payments clearing arrangement or operate a clearing house which acts as a central counterparty. ESAs will be provided only for settlement of obligations from the clearing process.
  • able to demonstrate that they have the liquidity to meet settlement obligations under routine conditions, during seasonal peaks and under periods of stress.

The conditions imposed on institutions which operate ESAs may vary depending on the type of institution. Institutions that are authorised and supervised by APRA are eligible for an ESA without special conditions, though they must still demonstrate that they have the necessary operational capacity and adequate liquidity to operate in RITS. The Reserve Bank may impose collateral requirements, for a transitional period, on institutions with limited payments experience that have obligations arising from participation in the net deferred clearing streams.

Organisations that operate in the RTGS system that are not authorised and supervised by APRA are required to demonstrate that they have the necessary operational capacity and adequate liquidity and may be subject to ongoing collateral requirements. These institutions have been granted an ESA for a particular purpose and conditions are generally imposed to restrict use of the ESA to that particular purpose.

All ESA holders are required to be a member of RITS and meet all of its operating conditions and charges.

9.3 Termination

Rules relating to suspension, termination and resignation from RITS are set out in the RITS Regulations. A member may resign by giving the Reserve Bank one month's notice in writing or, if the Reserve Bank agrees, a shorter period of notice.

The Reserve Bank may at any time terminate or vary the terms of the membership of any member without providing any reasons for such termination or variation, or impose particular conditions on an institution's membership of RITS. In addition to these rights, the Reserve Bank may suspend, for such period it considers appropriate, any member who fails to comply with any provision of the RITS Regulations, who has become insolvent, or who is guilty of any conduct regarded by the Reserve Bank to be contrary to the interests of the members or the system.


A separate class of member that does not undertake transactions within RITS does not require an ESA, and so is exempt from the ESA eligibility criteria. [1]