CHAPS is the UK’s high value payment system that is used to settle high value wholesale payments as well as time-critical, lower-value payments in sterling.
Since November 2017, the Bank of England has been the payment system (or scheme) operator for the CHAPS system.
Launched in 1984, CHAPS provides same day settlement for payments of any value. Individual CHAPS payments are settled in real-time, in central bank money, across its CHAPS Direct Participants’ settlement accounts held at the Bank of England in the Real-Time Gross Settlement infrastructure. All Direct Participants must hold an account with the Bank of England that can be used for settlement.
CHAPS is one of the largest high value payment systems in the world, providing efficient, settlement risk-free and irrevocable same-day payments in sterling. There are over 30 Direct Participants and over 5,000 financial institutions making CHAPS payments through one or more of the Direct Participants. CHAPS is a critical mechanism for managing liquidity in the financial markets.
Much of the daily value processed by CHAPS is from wholesale transactions - money market and foreign exchange. Over a third of CHAPS payments typically originate from overseas. Corporates use CHAPS for high value and time-sensitive payments such as to suppliers or for payment of taxes.
CHAPS is most generally known within the UK as the payment method for house purchases and deposits, although this only represents about 1% of the daily value processed.
As of 2018, CHAPS volumes are over 40 million a year – around 190,000 a day. Around £333bn settles in CHAPS each day – which is over £84 trillion in a year.
Management of the payment system, including the rulebook and end-to-end systemic risk management to facilitate same-day settlement of CHAPS payments.
Further information about CHAPS and its rulebook, including access criteria, can be found its website:
Enquiries about direct access to CHAPS can be made to:
Market Services Division
Bank of England
Or you can email: