Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 691 No. 3

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  117.  Deputy Pádraic McCormack  Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan   the proposals to rectify the situation as regards carrying out electronic transactions in banks and other financial institutions whereby there is a three day delay in transferring money from one account to a different bank or financial institution or to a different account holder within the same bank or financial institution although it is withdrawn from the first account immediately; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35718/09]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  While this is not an issue that has been raised by the relevant stakeholders to my Department, I understand that the length of time it takes to clear an electronic transaction is dependent on whether the financial institution is a member of the Irish Retail Electronic Payments Clearing Company Ltd (IRECC). IRECC is responsible for the clearing and settlement of domestic low-value payments in Ireland. Any bank or financial institution that does not participate in the IRECC clearing arrangements may have a longer [620]payment clearing cycle. A list of IRECC members is available directly from the website of the Irish Payment Services Organisation at www.ipso.ie.

I might also explain that the length of time for a transaction to be cleared is dependent on the nature of the transaction that is taking place. For instance, transactions within the same bank will, in most cases, be instantaneous. If not instantaneous, a transaction will normally be cleared on the same day. This would apply to accounts within the same branch or different branches of the same bank. In the case of transfers between different banks, I understand that the inter-bank payment cycle is normally three working days. However a faster clearing time may be available in the following situations:

I might also add that such transactions will, from 1 November 2009, be within the scope of the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009, whereby the maximum time for funds to be made available in a recipient’s account must be no more than three business days. From 1 January 2012 this period will be reduced to one business day. However, these periods may be extended by a further business day in the case of paper-initiated payment transactions.

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