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21 October 2003 - Simplex Consulting Limited and Steria UK have entered into an agreement to establish a SWIFT Service Bureau to serve the UK, Ireland and Nordic Region. This strategic alliance uniquely positions the two companies to capture the significant growth in the SWIFT user base which will follow the introduction of SWIFTNet and new services such as FileAct and InterAct.

As part of the agreement, Sterci, Steria’s wholly-owned software subsidiary, will provide its applications set which already serves more than 100 top tier financial institutions worldwide. The combined products and services of all three businesses will allow the ‘Simplex Steria SWIFT Service Bureau’ to launch with a strong offering from day one, to be quickly followed by a full complement of products and services.

According to Gerard Kenny, Commercial Director of Simplex, “The combined efforts of our organisations could not be better suited to capitalise on this exciting opportunity. Simplex is an accredited SWIFT Service Partner and has an unparalleled reputation as a provider of business-focused IT consultancy and project implementation in the UK’s financial markets. This, aligned with Steria’s market position as a leading Managed Services Provider, and Sterci’s heavily endorsed applications set made for an obvious partnership.”

For Guy Lambert, Director of Systems Integration at Steria UK, “It became obvious early on in discussions with Simplex that there was a strong fit between our companies. Steria has been active in the SWIFT marketplace for 25 years through our Swiss operation, so we have proven experience and products to respond to the requirements of customers migrating to SWIFTNet. Steria has been planning to increase its exposure to the financial markets in the UK for some time - the Simplex Steria Swift Service Bureau will provide Steria with the presence it is looking for.”

It is envisaged that, subject to SWIFT Board approval in December 2003, the Bureau will officially launch at the beginning of January 2004 with three product offerings: Standard Bureau Services (SBS), which will be targeted at small and medium-sized financial institutions and large corporates and will provide a range of value-added transactional services, Member Administered Closed User Groups (MACUGS), catering to the major financial institutions and their key corporate clients, and Disaster Recovery Services (DRS), targeted at existing SWIFT users. Sterci’s STEFORM, STELINK and STEMATCH will form the basis of a complete solutions package which will also include connectivity software, enquiries and investigations and automated repair.

Notes to Editors:

About Simplex Consulting (www.simplexconsulting.com)

Simplex Consulting was established in 1997 to provide a high quality Systems Implementation service focusing on the middleware and evolving STP and exception based processing requirements of financial institutions. Simplex focuses on Systems Integration, Systems Implementation and Staright Through Processing (STP) related consultancy and can provide experienced resources for an entire project lifecycle, including System Selection, Project Management, Business Analysis, Technical Analysis and testing related services.

Simplex Consulting will be at the SIBOS event in Singapore on stand PS06.

About Steria Ltd (www.steria.co.uk)

Steria in the UK combines expertise in e-consultancy, applications, secure e-business solutions, intrusion protection technology, managed hosting services, network management and infrastructure management, with a focus on major business sectors: public sector, finance, manufacturing and utilities. Steria employs more than 1,500 people in the UK.

About Sterci SA

Sterci SA is a newly 2003 formed subsidiary of Steria Group fully dedicated to STP software development. Sterci is founded on a legacy of 25 years of Steria experience in financial messaging. Based in Geneva Switzerland. More than 100 banks in 10 countries are Sterci products customers. Sterci references includes prestigious names like Bank for International Settlements, BNP Paribas, Swiss National Bank, Saudi Monetary Agency, Union Bancaire Privée, Swissquote, Julius Baer. Sterci solutions for STP includes Stelink financial messaging EAI, Stematch global reconciliation, Steform Intelligent message builder.

Sterci solutions will be demonstrated during the SIBOS event in Singapore on stand 4026.

About Steria (www.steria.com)

With 2002 revenue of 1.018bn Euros and over 8000 employees, Steria is one of the top ten IT services companies in Europe. Present in 12 countries worldwide, the Group is positioned as an end-to-end IT services partner thanks to the mastery of its three core businesses: consulting, systems integration and managed services.

Its acknowledged expertise in managing large-scale projects and its range of industrialised solutions in Europe enable Steria to offer its customers a reliable service with commitment to cost and risk control. The Group has strong sector-based expertise in the Public sector, Banking and Insurance, Industry/Utilities/Transport and Telecommunications markets.

Created in 1969, the Steria group is a pioneer in employee shareholding, with nearly 30% of its capital being held by employees. Steria is listed on the Premier Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange and in the SBF 120 index.

For more information, contact:
Casey Balkham/Ghezala Beg
Brodeur Worldwide
Tel: +44 (0)20 7298 7043/7063
Mail to: cbalkham@uk.brodeur.com/gbeg@uk.brodeur.com

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