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Bangkok Bank and RBC to provide data; Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein to trial service

At Sibos in Singapore (stand 4041), Cable & Wireless, the international telecommunications group, today (20 October 2003) announced the commercial availability of the company’s new subscription-based online information service for the international payments industry, Cable & Wireless Real Time Nostro (C&W RTN).

Cable & Wireless also announced that Bangkok Bank and RBC Global Services, a division of RBC Financial Group, intend to provide data for C&W RTN, while Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein will trial the service. The announcement represents a significant milestone in establishing C&W RTN as the industry platform for sharing Nostro account balance and transaction details within the banking community and follows agreement from ANZ, Barclays, JPMorgan and Mizuho to provide data to the service, announced in May this year.

C&W RTN offers institutions that hold Nostro accounts* a new way to share multi-bank, multi-currency account details in real-time, irrespective of time-zones and systems. The service was developed in conjunction with the banking community in response to a need defined by the IBIX (Inter-bank information exchange) group in 2000 to improve liquidity management, reduce risk, increase operational efficiencies and respond to customer demand for enhanced services. It is estimated that as many as 8% to 17% of transactions are unmatched each day, largely due to administrative errors which adds to banks’ risk.

Bangkok Bank is the largest commercial bank in Thailand and has the largest market share of the Thai Baht clearing business. The bank plans to use C&W RTN to enhance its information delivery service to its foreign financial institution clients.

“As the Thai Baht is not yet a continuous linked settlement (CLS) currency, we want to provide our Thai Baht clearing clients with real-time Nostro account information so that they too can manage their settlement exposure pro-actively and conform to international best practices,” commented Thanit Sirichote, senior vice president, Global Payment Services, Bangkok Bank.

RBC Financial Group is Canada’s largest financial institution and the largest inter-bank clearer of Canadian dollars, with a market-share of over 45%. It was the first Canadian financial institution to develop a proprietary real time account information service, Report Direct Live™, for its global financial institution clients. C&W RTN was adopted as an extension of this service because of the uniform quality of data and increased efficiencies that it provides to end-users.

“We are constantly seeking new technologies that can enhance the overall value that RBC brings to our global clients,” explains Ian Toone, vice president, Global Financial Institutions at RBC Global Services. “Being a leader in the C&W Real Time Nostro initiative allows our clients to benefit from a more flexible and efficient delivery system for their aggregated, multi-currency account information.”

Joining these banks in the evaluation of the benefits that C&W RTN can bring to a user is Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW), who has agreed to trial the service.

“DrKW looks forward to participating in the pilot for this new service,” said Nigel Whitehouse, global head of operations, DrKW. “The trial, out of our Frankfurt office, involves the management of our intra-day reconciliation process with some of our main Nostro agents. Understanding our Nostro positions on a real-time basis is key and we hope Cable & Wireless’ new solution and centralised approach in this area will provide us with even greater efficiency.”

“We are delighted that we can now formally launch this much-anticipated service,” said Royston Hoggarth, chief executive, UK, Cable & Wireless. “The delivery and management of information plays perfectly to our core capabilities: our high performance network, our hosting facilities and professional services capability.”

C&W RTN is available for demonstration on Cable & Wireless’ stand at Sibos (4041) as well as the Cable & Wireless web site www.cw.com. Cable & Wireless will also be announcing this week:
• an agreement with a number of leading application vendors to incorporate C&W RTN data into their services
• the launch of an industry report distilling the insight shared by four senior industry representatives on the significance and ramifications of real-time information for the banking community.

Individual announcements, containing more information on the agreements with Bangkok Bank and Royal Bank of Canada have also been issued today.

Real-time Nostro data will be the subject of three sessions at Sibos this year:
Tuesday, 21 October at 11am: Real Time Transactions and Information Management.
Wednesday, 22 October at 11am: Swift information session.
Wednesday, 22 October at 2pm: Special interest session on Real Time Nostro.

About Cable & Wireless Real Time Nostro (www.cw.com/rtn)
Developed in close conjunction with the banking community, Cable & Wireless Real Time Nostro (C&W RTN) offers institutions involved with foreign exchange and other international transactions a new way to share multi-bank, multi-currency ‘Nostro’ account data in real-time. This is in direct response to the banks’ need to improve liquidity management, reduce risk, increase operational efficiencies and respond to customer demand.

C&W RTN is a subscription-based information service, providing Nostro agents and account holders with a single view of their Nostro positions in each currency, across bank accounts, irrespective of time-zones and systems, to help them manage their cashflows intra-day, rather than after the market has closed.

C&W RTN is a shared repository of information, hosted and managed centrally in Cable & Wireless’ hosting facilities and available over an internet browser, SWIFTNet or via an application programme interface. Software from Gresham Computing normalizes and aggregates the data into industry-standard XML for ready integration with the banks’ existing systems.

About Cable & Wireless
Cable & Wireless is one of the world's leading international communications companies. It provides voice, data and IP (Internet Protocol) services to business and residential customers, as well as services to other telecoms carriers, mobile operators and providers of content, applications and internet services.

Cable & Wireless’ principal operations are in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the United States, Japan, the Caribbean, Panama, the Middle East and Macau. For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to www.cw.com.

About Bangkok Bank
Bangkok Bank is now the largest commercial bank in Thailand and has approximately US$ 30.5 billion in total assets. There are branches in London and New York complementing the extensive branch network in South East Asia. More than 300 foreign financial institutions worldwide maintain Thai Baht accounts with Bangkok Bank, making it the largest THB clearer in the Thai market.

About Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW)
DrKW is the investment bank of Dresdner Bank AG, a member of the Allianz Group since July 2001. Headquartered in London, Frankfurt and New York and with an international network of offices, DrKW provides a wide range of investment bank products and services to European and international clients through its Capital Markets and Corporate Finance & Advisory Lines.

ends

Notes to editor:
* Nostro accounts are typically foreign currency accounts maintained to facilitate clearing of funds for a correspondent bank in their non-domestic currencies, but can include currency of domicile and are used to process all types of payments, eg. commercial payments, money market transactions, securities settlements, derivatives, trade payments.

For editorial information, please contact:
Nicola Porter
Cable & Wireless
Tel: +44 20 7315 4031
Email: nicola.porter@cw.com

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