Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)


Draft message format: The CHAPS HVPS messaging format has been published by the Bank of England and is available in MyStandards in the Bank of England group. The current version is a DRAFT version.

ISO migration planned? Timeline: Introduction phase will start in the first half of 2022, on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, to anticipate SWIFT’s adoption of ISO 20022 later that year. It will followed by an enhancement phase in the first half of 2023. A final maturing phase is foreseen as of 2024.

Governing body of the migration: The Bank of England

Like-for-like vs Enhanced content: like-for-like first, then enhancing the message at a later stage.

Coexistence vs big Bang approach: “Big bang” approach: The Bank of England expects all direct participants will move to ISO 20022 messaging simultaneously using the SWIFT Y-copy service on the InterAct network. There will be no dual running of MT and ISO 20022 messaging for CHAPS payments. In this phase, the Bank proposes using like-for-like ISO 20022 messaging. This means that the message is easy to translate back to existing MT messaging and there will be no additional data requirements. This integration layer will not be able to provide direct participants with translation services for payment messages settled over the Y-copy service (the pacs.xxx messages), as the Bank of England only sees a copy of the message. These messages must be sent using the ISO 20022 formats from the cutover. However, it may be possible to provide direct participants (and other RTGS account holders including Reserves Account holders or Settlement Account holders settling in the retail systems only) with the original MT messages for cash management and administration messages that the current RTGS system will continue to produce during Phase 2[1].

This involves publication of the complete message standard for CHAPS. The Bank plans to publish further information about the ISO 20022 transition at the end of 2019. Feedback provided in response to these like-for-like draft messages will help shape what will be published. In the near future, the Bank of England plans to publish:

– The final like-for-like schemes.

– The latest (though still draft) version of the credit messages (pacs.008 and pacs.009) for the enhanced phase 2.

– Further information about the transition from phase 2 to phase 3

  • including the approach to migrate the messages for non-CHAPS reserves/settlement account holders
  • availability of the testing services and systems;
  • translation service policies;
  • and the approach for early use of enhanced data in CHAPS messages.

– Further information will be published by end-2020, including:

  • The final schemes for the enhanced messages.
  • Guidance around use of the enhanced messages, including technical implementation guides for DPs, market guides for end-users including best-practices.

Message format

Ultimate debtor/creditor: Ultimate creditor and debtor fields have been removed under the MX format. However, when bilaterally or multilaterally agreed, ultimate debtor/creditor may contain non Latin-based characters. These fields can not be mapped to an MT message.

Structured Party Information:

The following rules are applicable to debtor/creditor, Name/StreetName and Postal address:

  • If OrganisationIdentification/AnyBIC is present, then Name is optional to identify the debtor
  • If the length of Name exceeds 33 characters, the length of the StreetName is restricted to 33 characters. But if Name contains less than 33 characters, the length of the StreetName has a maximum length of 66 characters.
  • If StreetName is present, then TownName and Country must be present.
  • If TownName is present, then country must be present
  • If AddressLine is present, then StreetName, TownName or Country are not allowed
  • If Country is present, then AddressLine is optional

These strict rules can lead to significant truncation risk when moving from MT103 to pacs.008 and vice-versa.

Tax: Unlike in CBPR+ messages, Tax fields are not supported.

End-to-end identification: if it is provided in the payment instruction, it should go through the whole payment chain. If none is provided, the value NOTPROVIDED should be used. This should not be confused with SWIFT’s UETR, and cannot be mapped to MT messages.

Structured Remittance Information: is not supported under CHAPS format, unless it has been bilaterally or multilaterally agreed. If structured remittance information is present, CHAPS format limits the field to 9,000 characters excluding the tags. Structured remittance information cannot be mapped to MT and can provide essential information for compliance and reconciliation purposes. Banks should ensure they are not truncating remittance information, and take into account that extended remittance information can significantly bloat the message size. Banks should investigate their payment system capacities and incorporate the message size or isolate these payments from their existing systems.

An update and further supporting documentation will be published in September 2020[2].


[2] https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/payment-and-settlement/rtgs-renewal-programme/consultation-on-a-new-messaging-standard-for-uk-payments-iso20022