2018 Assessment of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System 2. Summary and Review of Ratings and Recommendations

RITS is Australia's high-value payments system, which is used by banks and other approved institutions to settle their payment obligations on a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) basis.[4] RITS is owned and operated by the Bank. The Bank seeks to ensure effective oversight of RITS by separating the Bank's operational and oversight functions, as well as by producing transparent assessments against international standards. This Assessment has been produced by the Bank's Payments Policy Department, which is the functional area responsible for oversight of the payments system, drawing on information provided by the Bank's Payments Settlements Department, which is the functional area responsible for operating RITS (see section A.3 for further background on the governance and oversight of RITS). This report has been endorsed by the Payments System Board.

This Assessment focuses on the critical services provided by the Bank as operator of RITS; in particular, RITS's role as a wholesale RTGS system, as it is this role that makes RITS a systemically important payment system.[5] Currently, the Bank considers that RITS is the only domestic systemically important payment system for which an assessment against international principles is necessary.[6] This view reflects the fact that RITS:

  • is the principal domestic payment system in terms of the aggregate value of payments
  • mainly handles time-critical, high-value payments
  • is used to effect settlement of payment instructions arising in other systemically important financial market infrastructures.

During the assessment period, a new service of RITS – the Fast Settlement Service (FSS) – was established under the RITS Regulations. The FSS was publicly launched with the New Payments Platform (NPP) in February and settles transactions submitted via the NPP feeder system on an RTGS basis. Given that the FSS and NPP have only recently commenced operating, the focus on the FSS for this assessment will be limited to its interaction with the core (wholesale) RITS system.[7] A similar approach is taken with the role RITS plays in the settlement of interbank payment obligations arising from net settlement systems, for example, those relating to cheque, direct entry and card transactions arising from the Low Value Settlement Service (LVSS).[8]

This section summarises steps taken since the publication of the 2017 Assessment in relation to the areas of supervisory focus identified in that assessment. It also summarises the ratings and recommendations arising from the current Assessment.

2.1 Developments in 2017 Areas of Oversight Focus

In the 2017 Assessment, RITS was found to have observed all of the relevant Principles and no recommendations were made.[9] However, the 2017 Assessment noted that Payments Policy Department would monitor progress in two areas of oversight focus, related to work to ensure that RITS remains resilient in the face of evolving cyber-security threats. Table 1 summarises these areas and progress by the Bank during the assessment period.

2.2 2018 Ratings and Recommendations

As of the end of March 2018, RITS was found to observe all of the relevant Principles (Table 2). Payments Policy Department has not identified any areas of concern in terms of RITS's observance with the Principles or specific recommendations to support continuous improvement. As part of its ongoing oversight process, however, Payments Policy Department will continue to follow up on developments in two aspects of the work to ensure that RITS remains resilient in the face of evolving cyber-security threats. As particular areas of oversight focus, Payments Policy Department will monitor progress in:

  • the implementation of the remaining recommendations arising out of the completed reviews of RITS's cyber security and cyber resilience
  • continued exploration of ‘non-similar’ technology that could enable further enhancements to the ability to recover RITS from cyber attacks in a timely manner.


This means that individual payments are processed and settled continuously and irrevocably in real time. [4]

‘RITS’ is used in this report to refer to the Bank as operator of RITS, as well as referring to the system itself. [5]

See the Joint Statement by the RBA and ASIC, Implementing the CPSS-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures in Australia, available at <https://www.rba.gov.au/payments-and-infrastructure/financial-market-infrastructure/principles/implementation-of-principles.html>. [6]

The NPP and FSS are not currently being used in ways that would trigger assessment against the Principles, based on the criteria for systemic importance listed above. [7]

Further information on net settlement systems linked to RITS is provided in section A.5 of Appendix A. [8]

In its assessment, Payments Policy Department has applied the approach and rating system set out in the Disclosure Framework. ‘Observed’ is the highest rating within this framework and is applied when Payments Policy Department assesses that ‘(An) FMI observes the principle. Any identified gaps and shortcomings are not issues of concern and are minor, manageable and of a nature that the FMI could consider taking them up in the normal course of its business.’ The full rating scale is set out in Appendix B. [9]