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April 2023
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Australia Exchange pauses post-trade system project, writes off A$250 million

The CHESS replacement programme, which began in 2016, involves replacing its traditional clearing house system with a similar system using blockchain technology
By Goh Thean Eu   
November 22, 2022

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has paused a project to replace its post-trade clearing system because of “significant challenges” and will take a A$250 million (US$166 million) charge in the first half of 2023.

The Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) project was meant to replace the exchange’s traditional clearing house system with a similar system using blockchain technology.

The original plan to go live in April 2022 was postponed multiple times due to technical issues and Covid-19.

According to ASX Chairman Damian Roche, the project was begun with the latest information available at the time and was aimed at delivering “a post-trade solution that balanced innovation and state-of-the-art technology with safety and reliability”.

“However, after further review, we have concluded that the path we were on will not meet ASX’s and the market’s high standards. There are significant technology, governance and delivery challenges that must be addressed,” he says in a statement on November 18.

“Current activities on the project have been paused while ASX revisits the solution design…Current CHESS remains secure and stable, and is performing well. ASX will continue to invest in its capacity and resilience,” Roche adds.