The bank for a changing world

Major commercial lenders form joint venture to address the needs of multinational clients

  • 02.07.2001
Pioneering New Enterprise Offers Single Global Commercial Payment Solution

A number of leading global banks including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Barclays Plc, Santander Direkt, and U.S. Bancorp have launched a new joint partnership -GCPS, L.L.C.- to provide corporate and purchasing products to multinational clients worldwide. GCPS is teaming with Visa International to deliver new solutions to help multinational corporations and governmental organisations seamlessly manage employee expenses, procurement, and purchasing data on a global basis.

Today's multinational clients -including large corporations and government agencies that operate across several countries- spend the equivalent of trillions of pounds around the world for procurement of goods and services as well as employee expenses for travel, entertainment, and supplies. Spending can involve thousands of employees in hundreds of different offices. Such multinational clients require increasingly innovative and flexible commercial products and services. Yet few financial institutions today have global capabilities to issue and service payment products, relying rather on local partners in other countries to handle issuing, processing and service functions on behalf of their multinational customers.

As an unprecedented consortium of leading commercial lenders, GCPS brings a new level of service and convenience to the world's largest organisations by offering the global ability to issue Visa corporate and purchasing payment services, with a single point of contact and pricing, integrated with commercial banking services, across borders and continents. GCPS also enables multinational clients to enjoy a single contract, improved market coverage, global data management services, and consistent service levels.

"GCPS provides its partnership network with the expanded global capability necessary to thrive in today's global economy," said Jeff Rankin, chairman of GCPS and senior vice president, Commercial Card Services, Bank of America. "While we all have our own company and business unit priorities, this alliance, built in the spirit of co-operation and flexibility, will allow each of us to provide a broader range of products and services to our individual clients."

"Visa is keen to help our Member financial institutions give their multinational customers the most effective payment solutions, with the best data management, and the flexibility to use point-of-sale, telephone, wireless, Internet, and other payment modes any time, any where, any way," said Roger Swales of Visa International. "We are pleased to be helping GCPS bring to its multinational customers the value of our premier brand, acceptance at more than 22 million locations worldwide, and our global network's unmatched reliability and capacity."

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Note To Editors:

About GCPS, L.L.C.
GCPS, a global commercial payment solution, is a for-profit, limited liability company formed in May 2001. Through its founding partners, which include Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Barclays Plc, Santander Direkt, U.S. Bancorp, and Visa International, the GCPS goal is to deliver global solutions for issuing commercial products and services to multinational clients.

About Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
BBVA is a leading financial group in Spain and Latin America. With a market value of over 50 billion euros, it is the second largest group in market capitalisation in the euro area. Established in 37 countries, it has the largest branch network under a single brand in the world, with nearly 9,000 branches and more than 11,000 ATMs worldwide. The BBVA Group employs more than 100,000 people, and has a market share of about 20 per cent in Spain and 10 per cent in Latin America, where it is a leader in the banking, private pension funds and e-banking markets. Finally, it is the largest Visa issuer in the Latin America Region.

About Bank of America
One of the world's leading financial services companies, Bank of America is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before. Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Bank of America provides individuals, small businesses and commercial, corporate and institutional clients across the United States and around the world new and better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose through the nation's largest financial services network, including approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 13,000 ATMs, as well as 38 international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than any other bank. Bank of America stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges, and the company's Web site is bankofamerica.com.

About Barclays Plc
Barclays PLC is one of the largest financial services groups in the United Kingdom and is a leading provider of co-ordinated global services to multinational corporations and financial institutions in the world's main financial centres. Barclays, through subsidiary Company Barclaycard, is also the UK's leading issuer of corporate charge cards. A member of Visa, Company Barclaycard is welcomed at more than 613,000 places in the UK and over 22 million worldwide. No other charge card is accepted in more places.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is the leading banking group listed in France. It is number one in France in corporate credit cards with 100,000 units currently issued. It is ranked number two in the euro area in terms of earnings (EUR4.124 billion in 2000). BNP Paribas employs 80,000 people worldwide and has one of the world's largest international networks, extending across 85 countries. BNP Paribas is a major player in retail banking, corporate and investment banking, private banking, asset management, securities services, insurance and private equity. Eighty of the world's top one hundred companies have chosen BNP Paribas as their banker.

About Santander Direkt
Santander Direkt Bank AG was established in 1994 as the legal successor to Banco Santander S.A. VISA Card Services, and is now an affiliated company within the Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH) group. BSCH is one of the top 10 banks in Europe. With around 726,000 customer relationships in the credit card, financial investment and loans segments, Frankfurt-based Santander Direkt Bank is one of the largest German direct banks. It regards itself as an innovative provider of financial services for specialised card and bank products.

About U.S. Bancorp
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of US$160 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,231 banking offices and 5,208 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of Firstar Banks and U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com and Firstar Bank at firstar.com.

About Visa International
Visa is one of the world's leading payments brands and the largest payments system worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate almost US$2 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa organisation plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet-based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce - the ability to conduct commerce anytime, anywhere, over any type of device.
Press contact(s)
Contacts:
Mr. James Martin
GCI Group
Tel +44 207 072 4077
jmartin [at] gciuk (dot) com

Mr. Lawrence Ellenberg
GCI Group
Tel + 1 212 537 8075
lellenberg [at] gcigroup (dot) com