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AMS/ANZ/Bank of Montreal/Barclays form trade srvc

Document date:  Thu 24 Aug 2000
Published:  Thu 24 Aug 2000 18:10:11
Document No:  166063
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N
Classification:  Other


HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     


American Management Systems Inc (AMS), Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Barclays PLC
(Barclays) have signed an agreement in principle to form a new
business venture in trade services transaction processing which will
enable banks worldwide to significantly improve customer service
levels and reduce costs for their trade services businesses (for
example, letters of credit and collections).

The announcement was made simultaneously today in Melbourne, London,
Toronto and New York. The four partners today (24 August 2000)
outlined their vision for the new venture.

The new company, to be operating in mid 2001 subject to regulatory
approval, will utilise a new business model and Internet-based
technology to enable banks around the world and their corporate
customers to access a state of the art trade solution, which will:

* Set a new benchmark for service levels and cost efficiency in
transaction processing; and

* Provide an Internet-based trade portal solution for banks and their
corporate customers to initiate and track their trade services
transactions online.

For the founders, the new company provides a valuable new business
and revenue stream built around technology, processing excellence and
Internet portal facilities.

ANZ, Bank of Montreal and Barclays will contract their back office
trade services transaction processing to the new company and utilise
its Internet-based technology. These changes will dramatically
enhance the banks' service offering to corporate clients and enable
them to innovate in facilitating and processing international trade.

Simultaneously, the venture will enable the banks to build a new
revenue stream for their shareholders and invest in the continued
growth of their trade businesses.

The company will target the trade services transaction processing
business of other trade banks globally, enabling the banks to
leverage the technology investment and scale of the venture to serve
their customers more effectively with leading edge trade processing
capabilities and technology, and at a lower cost than their present
in-house capabilities.

All banks using the service will retain full control of their
customer relationships, servicing, credit risk management and
pricing, thus maintaining their competitive positioning in the market
whilst sharing an improved, lower cost processing centre.

In all cases, corporate customers will continue dealing directly
with, and be serviced by, their own bank's trade services
specialists, but will also have the benefit of the latest
Internet-based tools for initiating and managing their trade
transaction requirements.

Trade services is a competitive market that requires ongoing
investment by banks in the latest technology to deliver cost savings
and new products, at a time when banks are seeking to allocate
investment funds to other emerging eCommerce priorities.

This new company offers banks a market leading trade processing
solution that will not compete for the banks' trade customer
relationships. The company will be independent of the four partner
organisations, with its own management team.

Strategically located processing centres will allow the company to
provide 24x7 real-time processing support and capabilities to banks
anywhere in the world.

The business model and the supporting technology are designed to
enable additional eCommerce initiatives to meet the changing dynamics
evolving in the trade and B2B market space.

The technology, built by AMS, will leverage AMS's deep expertise in
e-financial services and linking existing information technology
infrastructures to the web. AMS has over 25 years experience
servicing the largest financial institutions in the world.

Mark Rodrigues, General Manager of Global Financial Services at AMS,
said: "This initiative represents our core competence, combining
business expertise with e-finance Internet-based technologies. Our
involvement in the new company also reflects AMS's strategy of
embarking on creative new commercial ventures with our partners -
seen in recent initiatives such as Competix (also with Bank of
Montreal) and NetCredit - to complement our traditional consulting

Roger Davis, Group Managing Director, Corporate Financial Services,
ANZ, said: "ANZ is now making a substantial step that places it at
the leading edge of trade services globally. Customer servicing will
be delivered to customers by ANZ trade specialists utilising the
latest Internet-based technology platform. Customers will also be
able to initiate and manage their trade transaction requirements on
this Internet-based platform."

"AMS' leading edge technology marries the user-friendly Internet
front end with a state of the art back office - leading to high
service levels at competitive prices.

"This is in line with our group strategic direction built on
eTransformation and reinforces our position as leader in Australian
business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce."

Jeffrey Orr, Chairman and CEO of BMO Nesbitt Burns and Vice-Chairman,
Investment Banking Group, Bank of Montreal said: "Our corporate and
commercial customers across North America want faster, electronic
based means to facilitate and settle international trade
transactions. This new venture will help us meet the demands of both
importers and exporters, and is an excellent fit with our overall
strategy to aggressively drive e-business opportunities."

David Roberts, Chief Executive, Business Banking, Barclays said:
"Being part of this venture provides Barclays with the means of
providing our customers with world class documentary trade products
into the future. In a changing market, we are committing ourselves to
continue to support British importers and exporters and to investing
in the development of trade via e-commerce channels."

For further media information, please contact:

ANZ:      Angela Diamond
          Tel: 61(02) 9227 1362 or 61 (0) 401 712 592 (mobile)

AMS:      Jeff Trexel
          Tel: 1 (703) 267 5053 or 1 (703) 283 9451 (cell)

                      Tel: 1 (416) 927 2740

BARCLAYS:    Chris Tucker
             Tel: 44 (20) 7699 3161