The New York Clearing House Association announced plans to break its wholesale payment operations into two companies.

The reorganization has the blessing of the clearing house's 10 member banks but awaits regulatory approval.

The companies would operate as units of the clearing house group. They would have their own governing boards, which would open up several of the association's payments operations to broader industry representation.

"The plan is to strengthen cooperation among banks with common interests and allow for greater innovation and risk control," said Jill Considine, president of the clearing house group.

One new unit would focus on large-value payments and thus is to house the operations of Chips, formally the Clearing House Interbank Payments System.

Chips is a net settlement payment system used to settle foreign exchange, Eurodollar placements, and other international and domestic business transactions.

It processes more that $1.2 trillion daily, or as much as one-fifth of all exchanges of value in the world.

The other new unit would concentrate on smaller-value transactions, such as those associated with the automated clearing house. The New York Clearing House is one of the nation's four automated clearing house payment operators. The second new company also would be responsible for traditional check-clearing, as well as some newer payment system services, such as check imaging and electronic check presentment.

Executive leadership for the new companies has yet to be announced.

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