Currently GIRO Zrt. (that is fully owned by the Central Bank of Hungary since July 2014) operates two ACH platforms: the InterGIRO1 (IG1, since 1994) and the InterGIRO2 (IG2, since 2012). Both systems work in batches, clearing takes place overnight in case of IG1 and in five intra-day clearing cycles in IG2. The type and amount of the funds transfer determine the selection of the clearing platform, in the ordinary way, small amount mass payments are directed to the IG1 or IG2. For the time being direct debits could have been processed on the IG1 platform exclusively. GIRO Zrt. has decided to cease the operation of the IG1 platform from the 1 January 2016. Functions of the IG1 will be taken over by the IG2 platform. Currently IG2 processes credit transfers; its daily operation includes five clearing cycles. GIRO Zrt. will increase the number of clearing cycles up to ten from 7 September 2015. In addition the operating hours of IG2 will be extended, the first clearing cycle will start earlier, at 07:30 a.m. (instead of the current 08:00 a.m.) while the last cycle will start at 17.00 p.m. (instead of the current 16:30 p.m.).
The real time gross settlement cash clearing system called VIBER (operated by the Central Bank of Hungary since 1999) operating hours also will be extended from August 2015. Currently it operates from 08:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. (customer payments can be initiated until 17:00 p.m., settlement of against payment securities transactions until 17:30 p.m. and payments of direct participants - managing their own positions - until 18:00 p.m.)VIBER will open earlier at 07:00 a.m. and will close at 18:00 p.m. (as described above). The earlier opening of the VIBER system is in line with the operating time extension of the IG2 platform and is also part of the preparation for the Hungarian forint’s accession to the Continuous Linked Settlement platform (CLS) that is planned for November 2015.
The Hungarian CSD, KELER has not announced yet whether it will be open earlier for OTC DVP settlements (in which case the cash leg of the transaction is settled via the VIBER system). As soon as KELER publishes any news in this subject, we will inform you accordingly.
UniCredit Bank Hungary’s Transactional Sales area is currently analyzing the effects of these changes to the actual cash cut-off times and will communicate changes (if any) in due course.
Please note that all times referred to above are Central European Times.
Impact on investors: Functions of IG1 platform will be taken over by IG2, furthermore both cash clearing systems (IG2 and VIBER) will be available in extended operating time for market participants and for their clients. The announced changes have either no or positive impact on payment services and thus on investors.