Reserve Bank seeks deep-pocketed new owner for NZClear settlement system

The central bank said it has also investigated replacement systems in the event it is unable to find a suitable alternative provider.

The Reserve Bank has called for expressions of interest to buy its NZClear security settlement and depository business, after a strategic review deemed it was not a core business for the bank and required significant investment.

The central bank said it has also investigated replacement systems in the event it is unable to find a suitable alternative provider. A sale would be the end of a 25-year era for the Reserve Bank in operating NZClear, having migrated to an electronic system from the old manual system.

"The Reserve Bank is keen to see if another specialist operator can provide securities settlement and depository services that meet both the bank's requirements and those that the market has become accustomed to," deputy governor and head of operations Geoff Bascand said in a statement. "The NZClear system, the technology behind a key piece of New Zealand's financial infrastructure, requires significant investment or replacement."

While the bank had a preference to see a new provider of NZClear services, there were a range of systems available that would potentially meet the bank's requirements, if a new operator wasn't forthcoming, he said.

"NZClear members are important stakeholders, so we intend to provide regular briefings as this process evolves," he said.

Expressions of interest must be filed by June 23, using documentation available through the Government Electronic Tenders Service.

(BusinessDesk)