CHAPS is transparent about its access requirements and publicly discloses this information. CHAPS’ access model is one of both Direct and Indirect Participation.
CHAPS promotes a fair approach to access, whilst not compromising safety and stability. To obtain access to the CHAPS scheme as a Direct Participant, financial institutions need to meet the following access requirements:
- Hold a Settlement Account at the Bank of England which, for commercial banks, will be backed by a Reserve Account;
- Be a Participant within the definition as set out in the Financial Markets and Insolvency Regulations 1999;
- If domiciled outside England and Wales, they will need to provide CHAPS with information about their company status in the form of a legal opinion;
- Satisfy CHAPS Co, in the standard on-boarding Attestation process, on Security and Resilience arrangements;
- Be a shareholder of CHAPS Co and sit on the CHAPS board; and
- Thereafter (once participating directly) comply with the CHAPS Rules.
An indirect participant is a financial institution that does not have a direct relationship with CHAPS Co. Therefore, they will use a Direct Participant to transfer and receive CHAPS payments on their behalf.
The indirect participant will have a commercial and contractual arrangement with its Direct Participant and they will not communicate directly with CHAPS Co about normal day-to-day business.
CHAPS Co operates a Service User Group for all parties who are not already Direct Participants in the CHAPS scheme. The group is aimed to help CHAPS Co drive positive change and to deliver business benefits to the payment ecosystem.