A CHAPS transfer is initiated by the sender to move money to the recipient's account (at another banking institution) where the funds need to be available (cleared) the same working day. Unlike with a bank giro credit, no pre-printed slip specifying the recipient's details is required. Unlike cheques, the funds transfer is performed in real-time removing the issue of float or the potential for payments to be purposefully stopped by the sender, or returned due to insufficient funds, even after they appear to have arrived in the destination account.
CHAPS is used by 19 Direct Participants including the Bank of England and over 4500 Indirect Participants. In its first year of operation, average daily transactions numbered 7,000 with an annual value of 5 billion pounds sterling. In 2004, twenty years later, average daily transactions numbered 130,000 with an annual value of 300 billion pounds sterling. In 2010 there were 32 million CHAPS transactions totalling over £61 trillion, down from £73 trillion in 2008.
As well as making transfers originated by banks themselves, CHAPS is frequently used by businesses for high-value payments to suppliers, by mortgage lenders issuing advances, and by solicitors and conveyancers on behalf of individuals buying houses.
Costs and problems
CHAPS transfers are relatively expensive, with banks typically charging as much as £35 for a transfer. The cost of fast transfers and the low speed of free transfers (such as BACS) is sometimes a subject of controversy in the UK, although low value transactions are now available from its Faster Payments Service.
Problems can arise from delays, e.g. when an exceptional workload at a bank results in the money being cleared too late in a working day to complete related transactions, or inadequate instructions, when a bank is not given sufficient information to know where to credit the money, or in human delay in operating the machines.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- The Governor and Company of the Bank of England
- Bank of Scotland plc
- Barclays Bank plc
- Citibank N.A.
- CLS Bank International
- Clydesdale Bank plc
- The Co-operative Bank plc
- Danske Bank A/S (Northern Bank Ltd.)
- Deutsche Bank A.G.
- HSBC Bank plc
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Lloyds Bank plc
- National Westminster Bank plc
- The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
- Santander UK plc
- Standard Chartered Bank plc
- State Street Bank
- Svenska Handelsbanken AB
- UBS A.G.
CHAPS clearing information relating to UK banks may be found in the Industry Sorting Code Directory.
- Real-time gross settlement (RTGS)
- CHAPS Facts and Figures, UKPA. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "CHAPS Facts and Figures". UKPA. 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "Banking: Automated payments: CHAPS". ombudsman news. Financial Ombudsman Service. December 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "'This technology is easily available. There is no reason we can't have it'". Daily Telegraph. 16 March 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Faster Payments, UK Payments Administration, 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "CHAPS Members". CHAPS Co. 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.