Payment systems

Settlement systems in Spain

The Spanish interbank payment system is structured around two systems: TARGET2-Banco de España, for processing large-value payments; and the National Electronic Clearing System (SNCE), for small-value payments.

TARGET2-Banco de España came into operation on 18 February 2008 and replaced the Banco de España Settlement System (SLBE). This is the Spanish version of TARGET2 and, like its predecessor, it is a real time gross settlement system (no previous clearing). Settlement takes place in the accounts the participants hold in the common technical platform of TARGET2.

The National Electronic Clearing System is managed by Iberpay, a private company owned by the participating credit institutions. This system processes transactions conducted using retail payment instruments: SEPA credit transfers, SEPA direct debits, cheques, bills of exchange and various other operations (non-standardised documents, commissions and fees on loans or documented batches, foreign currency exchange, etc.). The settlement of these transactions is conducted in the accounts the participants hold in TARGET2-Banco de España.

The securities clearing and settlement systems in Spain are integrated in Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, Sociedad Holding de Mercados y Sistemas Financieros, S.A. (BME), including:

The Sociedad de Gestión de los Sistemas de Registro, Compensación y Liquidación de Valores, S.A. Unipersonal –under the comercial name of Iberclear– is the Spanish central securities depository (CSD) for the equities traded in the Spanish stock exchanges, securities traded in AIAF Mercado de Renta Fija (AIAF) and other securities traded in Latibex, the Latinoamerican securities market issued in Euros. It provides of the following services:

  • Initial recording of securities in a book-entry system ('notary service');
  • Providing and maintaining securities accounts at the top tier level ('central maintenance service');
  • Operating a securities settlement system ('settlement service'): Iberclear ARCO, the Spanish securities settlement system. The settlement is carried out in TARGET2-Securities, in which Iberclear participates from September 2017.

BME Clearing: is the central counterparty (CCP) of the BME Holding for the transactions traded in the Spanish stock exchanges, financial derivatives, Public debt repos, energy derivatives and interest rate derivatives.

All the Spanish clearing and settlement systems settle the euro transactions in central bank money, in the cash accounts opened in the books of the central banks.