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Bank of Canada designates Lynx as a systemically important payment system

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has designated Lynx, which is owned and operated by Payments Canada, as a systemically important payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act. Given how important Lynx is as Canada’s wholesale payment system, a disruption or failure of this system could significantly and adversely affect the financial system and economy. This designation brings Lynx under formal Bank oversight.

As part of Canada’s payments modernization efforts, Lynx replaces the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS). It inherits the operational functions to:

  • reinforce the Bank’s policy interest rate
  • provide a means for settling obligations from other financial market infrastructures (FMIs)
  • channel liquidity from the Bank to financial institutions in times of crisis

Payment systems under Bank oversight must comply with the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures issued by the Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions. The principles ensure risks in the system are adequately monitored and controlled. Designation provides legal protection regarding payment finality. It also places Lynx under the Bank’s resolution regime, ensuring continued operations in the unlikely but plausible event that the payment system becomes non-viable.

Additional information

  • Under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act, the Bank has formal responsibility for the designation and oversight of clearing and settlement systems (also known as FMIs) that could pose a systemic or payments system risk.
  • Currently, five systemically important FMIs and two prominent payment systems, including Lynx, are subject to the Bank’s oversight.
  • Systemically important FMIs are FMIs that have the potential to pose a risk to Canada’s financial system. If one participant is unable to meet its obligations to an FMI, that could transmit financial problems through the FMI and cause other participants to be unable to meet their obligations.
  • Prominent payment systems have the potential to pose risks to Canadian economic activity through a disruption or failure that could affect public confidence in the overall Canadian payments system.
  • For more information on how the Bank identifies systemically important FMIs and how designation protects them against risk, see the Guideline Related to Bank of Canada Oversight Activities Under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act.
Content Type(s): Press, Press releases