EBA and EBA CLEARING mourn passing of former long-standing Secretary General and CEO Gilbert Lichter

Paris, 23 November 2023

We are saddened to share that our former and long-standing Secretary General and CEO Gilbert Lichter passed away on 20 November.

With Gilbert Lichter, the EBA Family and the Single Euro Payments Area have lost one of their founding fathers – a formidable leader and community builder with a strong pan-European vision. A true European, Gilbert steered the EBA, EBA CLEARING and PRETA on an extraordinarily successful course, supporting the creation of the European payments infrastructure landscape throughout the ECU years, the introduction of the euro and the migration to SEPA.

As leader of the Euro Banking Association and later EBA CLEARING, Gilbert Lichter helped to shape the pan-European payments ecosystem since first serving as EBA Secretary General from 1986 to 1989. Returning to this position in 1992, he also became the first CEO of EBA CLEARING in 1998. Under his leadership, the EBA community designed and launched EURO1 and STEP2, the now systemically important euro payment systems, and was at the forefront of many other pan-European innovation and harmonisation initiatives, such as the move to instant payments. Gilbert concluded his successful journey with EBA CLEARING in 2015 and with the EBA in 2016. 

Born in Luxembourg, Gilbert was a graduate from the University of Saarbrücken, Germany, and started his career with Banque Internationale à Luxembourg. He was a member of the Managing Board of CEDEL S.A. in Luxembourg between 1989 and 1992. After retiring from EBA CLEARING and the EBA, he served on the Boards of CLS Group Holdings AG and CLS UK Intermediate Holdings Ltd, and continued to serve on the Board of EBA CLEARING’s fully-owned subsidiary PRETA.

Gilbert’s visionary power and his ability to inspire others not only made a difference in the construction of SEPA – they also left a major footprint in the lives of the people he engaged with. His energy and astuteness, his vision and his pragmatism will be dearly missed by many.  

We mourn the loss of Gilbert Lichter and are grateful for everything he has done for the EBA community and the wider payments ecosystem in and beyond Europe. Gilbert leaves behind his wife, his daughter and his grandson. Our thoughts are with his family in this time of grief.