Payment Systems

Malta Clearing House

The Malta Clearing House was set up in the early 1970s to provide cheque clearing arrangements between participating institutions. Under the provisions of the Central Bank of Malta Act, the Bank has the authority to promote the establishment of a bank clearing system and to provide facilities for it.

There is no specific legislation governing the clearing process for cheques in Malta. The system is based entirely on agreements and on Rules and Regulations established by the Malta Clearing House. These specify the participants, the decision-making mechanism and associated voting rights, and the operational rules for the clearing of cheques drawn on the respective banks. The tasks involved in the processing of cheques through the clearing house are shared between the participating institutions, with the clearing house only facilitating the exchange of instruments and the associated electronic information.

All credit and financial institutions operating cheque issuing accounts and/or providing services related to cheque encashment denominated in euro are eligible to join the Malta Clearing House which is chaired by the Central Bank of Malta. Should a bank decide not to become a member of the clearing house, it may appoint one of the existing members as its agent, with settlement then taking place through that agent’s call account. The other participating banks would treat this bank as another branch of the agent’s bank.