ASX taps TCS and Accenture for $125 million CHESS replacement

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ASX taps TCS and Accenture for $125 million CHESS replacement
Credit: © Reuters.

SYDNEY - The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has announced a partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (NSE:NS: TCS ) and Accenture (NYSE:NYSE: ACN ) to develop a new share settlement system, marking a significant shift from its previous blockchain-based strategy. The first phase of the multi-year project is estimated to cost between $105 million and $125 million, with detailed design and stakeholder consultations slated to begin in early 2024.

The ASX's decision to replace its aging Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) follows a failed attempt to implement a blockchain solution, which resulted in a $250 million loss. Despite this setback, the exchange is moving forward with TCS's BaNCS platform, a proven system that will be rolled out in two main releases. The initial focus will be on clearing services, followed by the enhancement of settlement services scheduled for 2028-2029.

Helen Lofthouse, CEO of ASX, emphasized the importance of minimizing industry impact during the transition and ensuring that the new system meets market needs. The ASX plans to maintain the current CHESS system until the new infrastructure is fully operational to prevent any disruption to market operations.

Accenture has been appointed to support the seamless integration of the project, ensuring that all components work together efficiently. This collaboration aims to modernize Australia's financial markets infrastructure and set a new standard for share settlement systems globally.

With phase one completion targeted by 2026, financial details for subsequent phases will be determined after consultations post-2024. The ASX is committed to executing this critical upgrade with diligence and strategic foresight to benefit stakeholders across Australia's financial landscape.

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