Global Banking News


Global Banking News provides up-to-the-minute news on all aspects of the global banking and insurance sectors and is essential reading for anyone following this fast-moving 24-hour industry.  Global Banking News offers concise, unbiased reporting of all significant events in this truly global business.

Below you will find a recent sample of the publication.


Payroll Card Programme Launched by BofNY

A MasterCard branded, stored value payroll card has been introduced by The Bank of New York (NYSE:BK), a global provider treasury management services.

This card enables employers with direct deposits to direct all or a part of their pay automatically to a card while providing employees without checking accounts access to their funds. Paper cheques are to be replaced by payroll cards. The net amount of pay is loaded to an employee’s card and leads to a reduction in the employer’s cheque processing and distribution costs. Employee benefits offerings are expected to gain strength since nationwide access to funds via ATMs is provided.

Industry leader eFunds Corporation is the bank’s partner on this project.

Premier Global Credit Line Extended by BofA and Wachovia

Charlotte, US-based Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) (BofA), Wachovia Corp (NYSE:WB) and LaSalle Bank National Association of Chicago have extended the credit line offered to Atlanta, US-based Premiere Global Services, Inc by USD120m.

Premier Global Services is a provider of business communications and data services. Its credit line has increased from USD180m to USD300m until April 2011. This credit is to be utilised for working capital and expansion requirements.

Synovus Financial Corp Announces 15% Increase in First Quarter Earnings

US-based regional bank Synovus Financial Corp has reported a 15% increase in its first quarter 2006 profit, attributed to stronger deposits and loan growth.

Quarterly profits for the period ended March 31, 2006 have increased to USD134.5m, compared with USD116.7m in the same period of 2005. Net income jumped 18%, while non-interest income reached USD9.2m. Excluding a provision for loan losses, total net interest income was up 16% at USD262.4m. According to chief executive Richard Anthony, excellent credit quality and a stable margin were responsible for the increase in earnings.

Bank of Italy to Drop Ruling on Bank Takeovers

The Bank of Italy has announced that it is to change its ruling that requires banks to notify the central bank of planned mergers and acquisitions before they become public.

The ruling had been introduced by the former governor of Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio, in a bid to control international takeovers of Italian banks. It eventually caused the resignation of the governor following the attempted takeover of Banco Antonveneta SpA by ABN Amro Holding NV in 2005.

The new governor, Mario Draghi, made the announcement at the Bank of Italy’s annual meeting in Rome.

Mercantile Bancorp Announces Agreement to Acquire Royal Palm Bancorp, Inc.

Mercantile Bancorp, Inc (Amex: MBR), an Illinois-based bank holding company, has entered into an agreement to acquire Florida-based Royal Palm Bancorp, Inc (OTC: RYPL), a full service community bank with assets of USD147.4m as of December 31, 2005.

The deal, which remains subject to approval by Royal Palm Bancorp’s shareholders, federal and state regulatory approvals, and other customary procedures, is valued at around USD44.4m and is expected to close before the end of 2006.

The chairman, president and CEO of Mercantile Bancorp, Dan S Dugan, commented, ‘This is an important step for Mercantile Bancorp. An important element of our strategy aimed at delivering increased value to our shareholders has been to seek out acquisition opportunities in areas that have the potential for faster growth than our traditional markets in Illinois and Missouri.’

He added, ‘Royal Palm Bancorp meets our criteria. It operates in one of Florida’s fastest growing markets, Naples-Marco Island MSA, which is home to approximately 320,000 year-round residents. The Naples MSA population grew 26.7% between 2000 and 2005. That growth is expected to continue at a nation-leading rate of more than 25%, with the permanent population projected to reach about 400,000 residents by 2010. One of the core driving forces behind the company’s growth is due to the influx of retirees and pre-retirees to Southwest Florida. Further, average household income is currently about USD91,000, a level at which many residents require more than just basic banking services.’

Wells Fargo to Make ATM Deposits Faster and Easier

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), a US-based diversified financial services company with USD492bn in assets, is to debut a new service that will allow customers to use envelope-free deposit ATMs with digital imaging.

Customers of Wells Fargo in Northern California will be among the first in the US to use the new technology, which converts cheques into digital images. Wells Fargo aims to convert all of its 400 ATM machines in the Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Alameda counties into Envelope-Free WebATM machines by the end of the year.

Jonathan Vellin, the head of Wells Fargo’s banking division, commented, ‘We’ve been piloting Envelope-Free ATMs since 2002 and the years testing the technology has given us a lot of important insight. Customers tell us the new ATMs are easy to use and they especially like seeing the cheque image on the screen and on the receipt. We also earned kudos from our consumer and small business customers for accepting stacks of bills and cheque deposits at one time, where as other banks require consumers to feed cheques in the machine individually - similar to what you see at vending machines - which can be too slow and cumbersome.’

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