RBA appoints new payments settlements head

head of payments settlements, Sarah Harris appointment

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has promoted its deputy head of payments settlements, Sarah Harris, to lead the division.

Harris replaces Greg Johnston, who is now engaged to lead a separate program of work designed to strengthen the central bank’s payments infrastructure, the RBA revealed.

As part of her new role, Harris will oversee the operation of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System (RITS), Australia’s real-time gross and high-value settlement system.

RITS also includes the Fast Settlement Service (FSS), which settles transactions submitted via the New Payments Platform (NPP) feeder system.

The department is also responsible for interbank obligations arising from the conduct of Exchange Settlement Accounts and the Reserve Bank’s own trading activities.

Harris previously held several roles in the RBA’s Payments Policy Department, including leading a team with oversight of payments, clearing and settlement systems and associated policy and research.

The RBA recognised the former deputy payments settlement head’s role in developing and implementing resolution, recovery and other crisis management policies relating to financial market infrastructure.

Prior to joining the Reserve, Harris served at the UK Financial Services Authority for over 13 years, overseeing the clearing and settlement supervision team and working in the banking and market divisions.

Harris, in her new role, reports directly to Michelle McPhee, the RBA’s assistant governor, business services. She commences her new role on 13 November 2023.