Direct Access to the Cheque and Credit Clearing System
To be eligible to become and remain a settlement member of the cheque and credit clearing system, an entity must fulfil a number of criteria. It must:
- be an authorised credit institution, a public authority or publicly-guaranteed undertaking;
- hold a settlement account at the relevant Settlement Service Provider for the relevant currency and/or the agreement of the relevant Settlement Service Provider to allow access to the settlement arrangements operated by that Settlement Service Provider;
- carry out business and operate an office within the European Economic Area;
- provide, upon becoming a member, a sterling cheque and/or sterling credit and/or euro cheque clearing service to its customers through the clearing systems operated by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company;
- have the ability to comply on a continuous basis with the technical and operational requirements (rules, procedures and standards) of each clearing system in which it participates; such compliance includes any outsourcing arrangements;
- pay the membership charges;
- sign legal agreements in respect of membership and of the settlement arrangements;
- if required by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, provide a legal opinion from external legal counsel confirming that each legal agreement will constitute that new member’s legal, valid and binding obligation enforceable in accordance with its terms; and that the settlement arrangements are enforceable;
- have a minimum, prime, short-term credit rating and an investment grade long-term credit rating; and
- become a shareholder of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company Limited.
An entity may apply to participate in one or more of the cheque system, the credit system and the debit (Euro) system.
Benefits of joining the Cheque and Credit Clearing System
- direct participation in the cheque and credit clearing system removes dependency on a sponsoring settlement bank as your clearing service provider;
- direct relationship with your cheque processor, if you choose to outsource;
- members have a seat at Board, which brings with it the opportunity to influence the strategic direction of the Company and the scheme;
- your own sort code range;
- access to industry-wide expertise through membership of the scheme’s committees;
- opportunity to deliver improvements in your customer proposition directly from innovations and processing efficiencies in the clearing process;
- help with media management: access to material relating to media enquiries for use in your press offices;
- access to our regulatory consultation monitoring service; and
- opportunities to engage directly with a full range of stakeholders.
How to apply for membership
Any bank or building society wishing to become a member needs to apply in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. An organisation may apply to be admitted to participate in one or more of the cheque clearing system, the credit clearing system and the euro cheque clearing system. The application must set out sufficient detail for the C&CCC to satisfy itself of the prospective member’s compliance with, and its ability to continue to comply with, the eligibility criteria. There is an annual charge for being a member of the cheque and credit clearing system and there is an initial joining charge.
Further details on how to become a member and details about the various charges can be obtained by contacting the C&CCC at:
Indirect Access to the Cheque and Credit Clearing System
Some 350 banks, building societies and other payment service providers - such as authorised payment institutions - choose to have access to the GB cheque clearings through agency arrangements with one of the settlement members.
To be eligible to be an agency with indirect access to the GB cheque clearings, an entity must fulfil a number of criteria:
- To be eligible to be an agency with indirect access to the GB cheque clearings through one of the settlement members, an entity must be a payment service provider under the Payment Services Regulations;
- An entity wishing to become an 'indirect clearer' makes the necessary contractual arrangements directly with the member concerned. The C&CCC does not get involved with these commercial arrangements;
- An agency is required to comply on a continuous basis with the technical and operational requirements (rules, procedures and standards) of each clearing system in which it participates; its settlement member is responsible for ensuring that it does this.