Instructions for Issuing a Subpoena to The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.
Your subpoena must be issued to our full, legal name: The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.
If your subpoena does not comply with this requirement, it will be returned for re-issuance. Please make your subpoena to the attention of Subpoena Compliance.
Email Address — Preferred Method of Service
TCH accepts service of subpoenas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may send your subpoena via US Mail, FedEx or other carrier.
Mailing or shipping address:
115 Business Park Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27107
NOTE THAT THE CLEARING HOUSE DOES NOT ACCEPT SERVICE OF SUBPOENAS VIA FACSIMILE.
You may contact The Clearing House regarding subpoenas at 212-613-0198.
The Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS)
Effective November 1, 2023, the retention period for CHIPS transaction data has decreased from a rolling seven (7) year period to a rolling five (5) year period.
The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. ("TCH") operates the Clearing House Interbank Payments System ("CHIPS"), a funds-transfer ("wire") system. The Clearing House is not a bank and does not hold accounts. As a funds-transfer system, CHIPS processes and settles "payment messages”, which are an instruction from a sending bank to a receiving bank to pay (or cause another bank to pay) a specified sum of money to a beneficiary. A CHIPS payment message is typically one transaction within a series of transactions (together the series of transactions is a "funds transfer") between banks made for the purpose of making a payment from an originator to a beneficiary. All CHIPS payment messages are denominated in U.S. dollars.
More information about CHIPS and its operations is available in the CHIPS Public Disclosure of Legal, Governance, Risk Management, and Operating Framework, which is published on the CHIPS web page of TCH’s website.
The records that The Clearing House has that would be responsive to a subpoena seeking funds transfer data are the records of CHIPS payment messages. There are no account files, correspondence, or memoranda involved with these payment messages.
Please be advised that beginning March 20, 2023 CHIPS payment messages include a new  field. The  field will be present in CHIPS messages until CHIPS implements the ISO 20022 message format in April 2024.
From March 20, 2023 until April 2024 a CHIPS Sending Participant may use the  field if the bank is converting an ISO 20022 formatted payment message it received via SWIFT to a CHIPS payment message and there is information in the ISO formatted payment message that (i) cannot be mapped to an existing CHIPS field, and/ or (ii) can be mapped to an existing field but is too large to completely fit in the field (“extra ISO data”). Industry guidance advises banks to delay the origination of new data elements that would create extra ISO data until CHIPS and other market infrastructures have implemented the ISO 20022 format. However, it is possible that banks will not abide by this guidance.
If there is extra ISO data, a CHIPS Sending Participant will include a copy of the entire ISO formatted payment message, not just the extra ISO data, in the new  field. If there is no extra ISO data, there will be no information in the  field.
Due to significant technical constraints that prevent TCH from feasibly searching and extracting data in the  field, TCH does not search the field or provide the field (if present in a CHIPS payment message) in its subpoena responses.
TCH will continue to search all other fields in a CHIPS payment message and these other fields will continue to identify the originator, originator’s bank, intermediary banks, beneficiary bank, and beneficiary.
If there is information in the  field, the information will be almost entirely duplicative of information that is found in the other fields of a CHIPS message. Under certain circumstances, however, it is possible that certain “ultimate” parties and/or complete names and addresses may only appear in the  field.
If a CHIPS payment message that is provided in response to a subpoena had data in the  field, “XDAT” will appear in the  field of the message. Please note that CHIPS Participants also have their own records of CHIPS payment messages they sent or received. Subpoenas issued to them may provide additional information relevant to the matter being investigated or litigated.
TCH Response to Subpoenas
TCH’s preferred method for responding to subpoenas is by email. Responsive data will be encrypted, and a password will be emailed in a separate message. Please provide in your subpoena an email address to which we can respond.
Our standard response time for pending and incoming subpoenas is approximately 20 weeks. Based on volume received, we are unable to expedite responses.
We search the names of businesses and individuals, addresses, and/or account numbers, which correspond to defined fields within a CHIPS payment message. CHIPS payment messages do not include fields for social security numbers, EIN or tax ID numbers, dates of birth, passport numbers, drivers’ license numbers, and the like, so we cannot search by those identifiers. Due to privacy issues, we prefer that you not provide that information in your subpoena.
If there is responsive information regarding your subpoena, you will receive an Excel spreadsheet containing the payment messages that appear responsive to your subpoena. You will also receive an executed copy of a Declaration of Authenticity of Business Records for the spreadsheet we are providing.
The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. retains CHIPS payment message records for only five (5) years from the date of the transaction. CHIPS transaction data that is older than five (5) years is automatically deleted from our systems.
Please note that notwithstanding an Instruction or Direction in your subpoena that all requests are “continuing in nature”, TCH responds once to each subpoena it receives and does not run subsequent searches of its records data. You must issue a new subpoena if you want TCH to perform any subsequent or updated searches.
Please be advised that TCH will not retain copies of the Excel spreadsheet that is provided in response to a subpoena.
If you have any additional questions, please email your inquiry or call 212-613-0198.