Paris, 4 December 2006

BRED Banque Populaire joins EURO1 payment system

EBA CLEARING announced today that BRED Banque Populaire has connected to its large-value clearing and settlement system EURO1.

As a Participant in EURO1, BRED Banque Populaire is in a position to directly exchange euro payments with the major bank groups in Europe via the highly efficient and cost-effective platform of EBA CLEARING.

BRED Banque Populaire has joined EBA CLEARING as a shareholder

BRED is the largest regional bank of the Banque Populaire banking group. The cooperative bank is well-established in the Paris area, Normandy and in the French overseas territories.

"We are delighted to have BRED connected to the EURO1 system as the first step in their strategy for moving to pan-European infrastructures in readiness for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA),” said Alan Taylor, Director, EURO1 Services. “BRED’s ready completion of the joining process underlines the ease with which EURO1 can be accessed by banks as they prepare for the decommissioning of legacy national systems." 

With BRED Banque Populaire having become a EURO1 clearing bank, EBA CLEARING now counts 71 shareholder banks. Another French bank has already declared its interest in joining the EURO1 system as a clearing bank in 2007.

“EURO1 has enjoyed a continuous positive evolution since its launch in 1998,” said Giorgio Ferrero, Chairman, EBA CLEARING. “We expect the platform to attract additional participants and more traffic in the upcoming months as banks throughout Europe are re-orienting their payment business in view of SEPA.“ 

EURO1 is the leading industry-owned clearing and settlement platform for largevalue payments in euro. The EURO1/STEP1 central system is operated by SWIFT and currently processes more than 185,000 transactions per day for a total value of over EUR 195 billion.

As a net settlement system, EURO1 enables banks to re-use their liquidity to the maximum. Furthermore, new features such as intra-day liquidity distribution and a pre-funding functionality, which were introduced earlier this year, have provided the EURO1 banks with key tools to enhance their overall liquidity management.

EURO1 is based on a state-of-the-art messaging infrastructure and computing facilities corresponding to the highest levels of resilience.

Access to EURO1 is open to any bank operating in Europe that fulfils the required conditions in terms of assets and risk rating.