CHESS replacement delayed

The Australian Stock Exchange has been forced to delay the replacement of its CHESS system.

The impact of COVID-19 is continuing to spread, with the outbreak now forcing the delay of the ASX's CHESS replacement system.

Originally slated to go-live from April 2021, the CHESS replacement will now be delayed, with the new implementation timetable yet to be decided.

The ASX said it will consult with stakeholders about a new timeline in June.

However it isn't all bad news for the CHESS replacement, with the ASX confirming it will retain the target of opening an industry test environment (ITE) in July.

"The re-plan will provide additional time for users to complete their operational readiness activities and to consider the rule changes that accompany the new system," the ASX said.

"It will also increase the time available for back office software developers to familiarise themselves with key aspects of the new system in a production-like testing environment, and enable them and ASX to complete software development and testing."

ASX deputy chief executive Peter Hiom said the industry needed to focus on the challenges before it given the current environment of heightened volatility.

"In light of recent events, ASX is replanning the implementation of the CHESS replacement system," Hiom said.

"We are conscious of the importance of providing a new schedule, and the need to get the valuable input of CHESS users.

"We will therefore wait until June to consult on the new timetable when we expect everyone will have more time to consider the replan and better assess the implications of COVID-19. We will then announce the new schedule."

Hiom said consolation has been thorough throughout the program so far, and said the exchange would continue to listen to the feedback of all stakeholders.

"Our priority is to ensure the orderly and safe completion of this project with the continued close oversight of our regulators. We thank everyone for their ongoing support during this replanning process," he said.

"ASX remains fully committed to CHESS replacement. We continue to progress the project, including system development and testing, supporting back office software developers, and assisting users in their readiness activities.

"The investments we are making in the new system and in distributed ledger technology are for the long-term benefit of the financial services industry and the Australian economy."

Read more: CHESSASXAustralian Stock ExchangePeter Hiom
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