Functions of Banco de Portugal
Banco de Portugal promotes the smooth operation of payment systems through the operation, regulation, oversight, and development of payment systems and instruments. In particular, it aims to:
- Promote efficiency, speed, innovation, and security in the use of payment systems and instruments;
- Achieve stability and efficiency for the Portuguese financial system and economy;
- Successfully implement monetary policy, whose main purpose is price stability;
- Safeguard public confidence in the euro.
Operation of market infrastructures
Banco de Portugal operates four payment systems in Portugal:
- SICOI, which is the retail payment system that processes day-to-day payments by cheques, bills of exchange, direct debits, credit transfers, bank cards and instant transfers;
- TARGET2-PT, i.e. the Portuguese component of TARGET2, Eurosystem’s large value payment system;
- AGIL, Banco de Portugal’s deposit account management system, allows institutions not participating in TARGET2 to conduct specific transactions with Banco de Portugal, namely cash deposits and withdrawals;
- TARGET2-Securities, in its component of linking the Portuguese community to this Eurosystem’s securities settlement system, where securities transactions are settled, notably shares and bonds, against central bank money.
Transactions TARGET2-PT and SICOI in 2021
Banco de Portugal participates with the European Central Bank and other national central banks in the oversight of three international payment systems operating in the euro area:
- TARGET2 – the Eurosystem’s large value payment system;
- EURO1 – EBA Clearing’s payment system for large value transactions in the European Union;
- STEP2-T – EBA Clearing’s retail payment system in the European Union.
Banco de Portugal is also responsible for the monitoring and the smooth operation of the Portuguese retail payments system, SICOI, of payment instruments and of relevant infrastructures in Portugal.
Banco de Portugal’s oversight function monitors the operating of securities clearing and settlement systems, given their close relationship with payment systems and their importance to monetary policy.
In addition to the financial settlement of their transactions in payment systems, securities clearing and settlement systems allow for the use of securities as collateral in monetary policy operations and in the granting of intraday credit by the central bank.
Development and regulation of payment systems and instruments
Banco de Portugal collaborates with market agents in the development of payment systems and instruments in Portugal.
With the purpose of promoting dialogue with the key market players, Banco de Portugal set up a group of advisory bodies that support it in the development of payment systems and instruments:
- The Payment Systems Interbank Commission (CISP in Portuguese) – ensures interbank coordination of activities related to the development, standardisation and use of interbank payment instruments and systems in Portugal;
- The Payment Systems Forum (FSP in Portuguese) – promotes the smooth operation of payment systems, encouraging dialogue between the main Portuguese retail payments stakeholders (banking system, consumer associations, general government bodies and corporate sector);
- AMI-Seco-PT – discusses issues related to the Portuguese community’s participation in TARGET2-Securities.
As regulator, Banco de Portugal seeks to ensure that there is a suitable legal framework for the operation of payment systems and instruments.
In addition to issuing its own regulatory instruments, such as Notices, Instructions and Circular Letters, Banco de Portugal collaborates actively in the preparation of instruments for transposing Community Directives into national legislation and the setting-out of national measures for applying European Union Regulations governing payment systems and instruments.