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New Support Provider For Austraclear/ESAS

News Release 8 May 2002

The Reserve Bank today announced that it had awarded a three-year contract to Datacom Systems (Wellington) Ltd to provide support services to the New Zealand Austraclear and ESAS systems, commencing 1 January 2003.

Austraclear is a system operated by the Reserve Bank for clearing and settlement of high-value debt securities and equities. The Austraclear system has 230 members with total investments of approximately $80 billion.

The Exchange Settlement Account System (ESAS) is a banking service provided by the Reserve Bank to institutions that need to make regular high-value payments with each other. All the current ESAS account holders are banks, though, in principle, membership is not restricted to banks. These transactions - around $30 billion daily - are completed individually in real time. The actual systems are located in Wellington and are duplicated in Auckland to ensure that services can continue in the event of a regional disaster in Wellington.

In 2001, Austraclear Limited (a subsidiary of SFE Corporation Limited) which has been doing this work for the Reserve Bank, served notice that, following a change in strategic direction, it intended to stop providing support services for the Austraclear and ESAS applications past 31 December 2002.

Dr Rod Carr, who is acting as Governor, commented "We are pleased to be entering into this contract with Datacom. Of the various tenderers, Datacom particularly impressed us with their technical knowledge and their familiarity with supporting mission-critical payment systems."

Ends

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