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4/1/2005
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New Service Eases International Transactions For Bank Of America

The service from Cable and Wireless will provide the bank's Nostro agents and account holders with a shared repository of information across different currencies, time zones, and bank accounts.

Bank of America Corp. revealed plans Friday to adopt a subscription-based information service from Cable and Wireless plc that will provide the bank's Nostro agents and account holders with a shared repository of information across different currencies, time zones, and bank accounts.

A Nostro account is an account a bank holds with a bank in a foreign country, usually in that country's currency. Bank of America is looking to Cable and Wireless' Real Time Nostro to help its agents manage financial transactions throughout the day rather than after the market has closed.

The service can be connected directly to an international bank's systems from a hub as soon as transaction information is available, which allows the systems to receive and process transactions immediately.

Once Bank of America goes live with the service, account information in U.S. dollars and all other major currencies held by its international branches will be transmitted in real time over an Internet browser to the Cable and Wireless RTN platform. This data can be accessed through a browser interface or can be pushed out directly into the bank's cash-management or reconciliation system.

The service will enable the bank to better manage its intraday cash flows, Karen Healy, senior VP and head of FI/FX product management at Bank of America's Global Treasury Services, said in a statement. "We recognize our clients' growing need for efficient delivery channels, providing real-time information and improving the reconciliation process. We want to expand our existing suite of real-time information streams."

The service is hosted and managed centrally in Cable and Wireless' hosting facilities. Cable and Wireless partnered with Gresham Computing plc, a provider of software that collects data in industry-standard XML for integration with banks' existing systems.

Barclays Capital, an investment-banking division of Barclays Bank plc, was the first financial-services company to sign up for the service last October. Eleven financial-services companies use the service, including Bank of America.

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