ASX to delay to project on modernize its share trading software

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said it would delay an overhaul of its share trading software by up to 20 months, citing problems achieving scalability and resilience.
ASX CEO Helen Lofthouse
The delay until late-2024, among several, takes it to nearly a decade of ASX Ltd’s project to modernise its equities clearance software Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS).

The CHESS software enables ASX’s registry to manage settlement of transactions, and the exchange has strived since 2017 to replace with blockchain technology in a bid to cut costs for customers.

ASX, which has been battling with several software glitches, said it will engage Accenture to provide an independent review of the new CHESS application. Accenture’s review will identify actions for ASX to communicate a revised timetable to finish the project.

The bourse operator and its application software provider, Digital Asset, realised that the application required more work than anticipated.

ASX’s Managing Director and CEO, Helen Lofthouse, said: “CHESS is a critical system and we must have high confidence in the schedule to deliver new CHESS safely. I apologise for the uncertainty and thank them for their close and constructive work with us on this important project.”

In a joint statement, the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Chair Joseph Longo expressed their disappointment on the further delay.