Your browser is not supported

Our website does not support the browser you are using. For a better browsing experience update to a compatible browser like the latest browsers from Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Exchange Settlement Account System (ESAS) access review

We are reviewing our current ESAS (Exchange Settlement Account System) access policy and criteria.


Publication of submissions on our risk assessment framework consultation

We recently consulted on a new risk assessment framework proposed to evaluate applications to open an ESAS account with us.  

The consultation is part of an access review of our Exchange Settlement Account System (ESAS) to consider eligibility changes. 

Feedback was largely positive, with 2 significant issues raised around:

  • requests for ESAS accounts for non-settlement purposes, and
  • clarification on how the policy would balance objectives around innovation and competition relating to requirements for integrity and reliability.

We advised that the feedback warranted more research. This has led to a revised approach which aims to balance our initial risk-based approach with considering the benefits ESAS access brings, particularly around innovation and competition.


Read the submissions (PDF, 8.8 MB)

Read the summary of submissions and our response (PDF, 464 KB)


It is important we get the policy right as ESAS is at the heart of our financial system and keeps our economy moving so we are taking a robust and risk-averse approach.

We intend to open Consultation 2 on the access policy and revised risk assessment framework in quarter 3 this year. While we are considering opening access, we are still in the process of how to ensure access can be broadened safely. No decisions about access for non-bank entities have been made yet. Because ESAS comes under the Financial Market Infrastructures Act (2021), we need to consult and seek approval from RBNZ’s Board and the Regulator.

We will update you soon on project timelines including when we open Consultation 2.

About the consultation

We asked for feedback on the ESAS access Risk Assessment Framework (RAF) proposed to form part of our revised ESAS access policy and criteria.

An important part of how we apply the access policy is assessing risks that may be introduced into the system by the ESAS applicant. We would use the RAF to evaluate the risks that an ESAS applicant may pose to the system if they were accepted to become an account holder. The draft framework considers CPMI-IOSCO's Principles for Financial Market Infrastructure (PFMI) in capturing the risks relevant for a systemically important payment system such as ESAS.

Read the consultation paper (PDF, 890 KB)

Read our privacy statement

All information in submissions will be made public unless you indicate you would like all or part of your submission to remain confidential. Respondents who would like part of their submission to remain confidential should provide both a confidential and public version of their submission. Apart from redactions of the information to be withheld (blacking out of text) the two versions should be identical. Respondents should ensure that redacted information is not able to be recovered electronically from the document (the redacted version may be published as received).

Respondents who request that all or part of their submission be treated as confidential should provide reasons why this information should be withheld if a request is made for it under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). These reasons should refer to the grounds for withholding information under the OIA. If an OIA request for redacted information is made the Reserve Bank will make its own assessment of what must be released taking into account the respondent’s views.

The Reserve Bank may also publish an anonymised summary of the submissions received in respect of this consultation.