BoE: "Synchronisation innovative step for new Real-Time Gross Settlement"

By David Beach | 15 August 2018

The Bank of England (BoE) is looking to work with a range of organisations, including fintech firms, to explore the demand for implementing synchronised settlement in the renewed Real-Time Gross Settlement service. 


During 2018 the Bank engaged with financial institutions, infrastructures, trade bodies, policy makers and fintech firms on the concept of synchronised settlement in central bank money.

Through this engagement a number of potential use cases for the functionality were identified, including; housing transactions, corporate transactions and cross-border payments.

At the heart of synchronisation is the concept of ‘atomic settlement’. This means that the transfer of two assets is linked in such a way as to ensure that the transfer of one asset occurs if and only if the transfer of the other asset also occurs. The Bank believes that for certain transaction types, this functionality could reduce cost and risk, improve efficiency, and support innovative new methods of settlement. 

“Exploring potential demand for synchronisation functionality is just one of the ways in which the Bank of England is seeking to support innovation. It also helps us better understand the ways in which our new RTGS service could be used in the future."  Victoria Cleland, Executive Director of Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience at BoE, told bobsguide.

While the Bank is exploring whether it might implement this functionality as part of its renewal of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service, third parties would need to create the platforms and products that will make use of it.

Therefore the Bank is now seeking to work with organisations to further explore the demand and potential for this functionality, as well as to understand the design implications for the Bank and the organisations which would interface with the Bank’s systems. 

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn from each other," said Cleland, "I hope many firms continue the conversation with the Bank about future developments in central bank money settlement.”

The Bank would like to hear from organisations that have use cases to share, as well as organisations which might be looking to connect to synchronisation functionality.  To find out more, and to register your interest, please visit the Bank’s website or contact



Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development