Research conducted recently by VISA in the UK shows that most travellers to Europe this winter are planning to rely on their payment cards when the new single European currency euro notes and coins are introduced in Austria, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain on January 1. Although euro was introduced in January 1999, no physical notes or coins have yet to be issued. Effective January 1, 2002, all non-cash payments within the euro zone have to be in euro. However national currency notes can still be dispensed from a limited number of ATMs. It is anticipated that within the first week of January, 90% of the euro zone ATMs will dispense only euro notes, and the remaining will be modified to dispense euro notes by February 28, 2002. After that date, the euro will be required for all purchases and the national currencies will cease to be legal tender. At that point, the 12 countries will operate only in euro. Since the euro’s introduction in 1999, VISA has processed over 16.7 million euro transactions across the European Union amounting to nearly E 920 million (US$802million). In the first quarter of 2001, approximately 1.6% of the total number of Visa transactions acquired in the European Monetary Union (EMU) region were in euro.Details
Viisage Technology, Inc., the leader in face-recognition technology and identification systems and solutions that improve security and conveniently protect personal privacy, announced its exceptional performance in Round Three of “Comparative Biometric Testing for IT Security and E-Commerce” tests conducted in 2001 by the International Biometric Group.
In the key measurement, ‘False Acceptance Rate’, which determines the ability to correctly identify the right person and reject impostors, Viisage scored an impressive 0.22% during the “Primary Visit”. This means that 99.78% of impostors attempting to break into the system were stopped. In the important “False Rejection Rate” test, the measure of how often the technology incorrectly rejects a valid user, Viisage achieved an equally impressive score of 2.69%.
Tom Colatosti, Viisage President and CEO, said, “We are delighted with the outstanding absolute results we achieved and we are especially pleased with our performance relative to other face recognition and biometric vendors. Our performance clearly demonstrates the efficacy of our MIT developed technology and our nearly 100 person years of additional R&D investments in our face recognition technology and applications.”
IBG is the leading biometric integration and consulting firm and works on behalf of both private sector and government clients to evaluate, design, and integrate biometric solutions. Other biometrics tested, in addition to the face recognition, included fingerprints, signature, iris and voice. Visit www.biometricgroup.com/study for details on testing methodology and information on obtaining complete results.
Colatosti went on to say, “IBG has a worldwide reputation for biometric expertise and objectivity. The IBG Round Two and Round Three tests are the most comprehensive current performance evaluation of biometric technologies available. Viisage’s performance in the IBG evaluation clearly demonstrates the robustness of our technology to achieve outstanding results in real world applications and certainly increases our credibility as the industry leader in providing face recognition solutions that improve security and personal privacy.”
Viisage Technology is the world leader in biometric face-recognition technology and identification systems and solutions that enhance consumer convenience, improve security and protect personal privacy. Originally developed at MIT, Viisage’s patented, accurate, non-intrusive and cost-effective face-recognition technology is widely acknowledged for its unmatched performance including speed in real-time applications, scalability for managing large image databases, and systems integration for complete customer solutions.
Viisage provides a full family of face recognition products. FaceEXPLORER(TM) is a powerful and scalable image retrieval and analysis database product, used to combat identity fraud — it is implemented in the world’s largest face recognition system with more than eight million enrolled images. FaceFINDER(TM), acclaimed for its processing speed, is the industry’s most widely implemented surveillance and identification system — it is installed in more than 80 casinos worldwide and has been deployed to improve security at premier sporting events. FaceNET(TM) provides secure authentication for PC, Internet and e-commerce connections. FacePIN(TM) offers consumers convenient and private verification for point-of-sale transactions such as ATMs. FacePASS(TM) is a practical security solution for keyless entry to secure facilities, such as offices, dormitories and government facilities. FaceTOOLS(TM) is a leadership Software Developers Kit that enables application providers the ability to develop and customize unique customer and market applications.
Additionally, Viisage’s systems annually deliver, through 1,500 U.S. systems in 1,200 locations in 15 states, more than 25 million high-quality and high-security digital-identification documents for government agencies responsible for issuing drivers’ licenses, social services cards and law enforcement credentials.Details
Trintech Group Plc, a global provider of
secure payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet and wireless
environments, announced that Barclaycard, a subsidiary of Barclays Plc, has selected Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer as one of the key
initiatives it will look to deploy in its increasingly forceful entry into the
eCommerce payments arena. The deal will enable Barclaycard to offer eWallet
functionality and will provide a more convenient shopping experience for
consumers at a wide range of leading online websites.
The wallet will also be available through Shopsmart, the UK’s leading
comparison shopping website for use at all of its retail partners.
“Partnering with Trintech and utilizing their flexible yet powerful
payment technology has enabled us to extend our reach into this arena,
allowing us the opportunity to expand into the mobile and set-top markets in
the future,” said Sonja Roberts, Director of eCommerce at Barclaycard.
“Barclaycard considers the Internet an essential medium for the delivery of
goods and services to consumers and merchants.”
Commenting on the deal with Europe’s leading issuer of credit cards, John
McGuire, CEO of Trintech was delighted to announce, “Trintech will work
closely with Barclaycard to provide the PayWare eIssuer infrastructure that
will speed up transaction times and lead to a more satisfactory and secure
payment experience for consumers and merchants.”
Barclaycard is Europe’s leading issuer of credit cards with 7.9m customers
in the UK alone. Operations abroad include Germany, France, Spain and Greece.
Barclaycard was the first and is the UK’s leading card services provider
on the Internet. 500,000 customers regularly use Barclaycard’s online account
Shopsmart Ltd is the UK’s leading Internet comparison shopping site.
Formed in 1999, Shopsmart was acquired in April 2001 by Indigosquare Ltd (a
joint venture between Barclays Bank and Nomura International PLC). The deal
combined two of the foremost players in the market to create the UK’s number
one comparison shopping site.
Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic
payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical
world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete
range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and
procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the
deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and
SET(TM) compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging
world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755
Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at
Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18
(Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at
About PayWare eIssuer
Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer is an online virtual credit card purchase and
payment solution, which simplifies and secures online purchasing over the
Internet and wireless networks. It is a powerful marketing and risk reduction
tool that develops and strengthens customer relationships.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section
21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, relating to, among
other things, future applications, functionality and performance of PayWare
eIssuer. Any “forward-looking statements” in this press release are subject
to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those stated. Factors that could cause or contribute to such
differences include the availability of financial resources to continue
investment in research and development, and Trintech’s ability to effectively
respond to future changes in the ePayment software market. Actual performance
may also be affected by other factors more fully discussed in Trintech’s Form
6-K for the quarter ended April 30, 2001 filed with the U.S. Securities and
Concord EFS is mailing out letters this week to its 6,200 financial institution clients detailing a uniform pricing schedule for the ‘STAR’, ‘Cash Station’, and ‘MAC’ debit networks. At the same time, Bank of America advised Concord that although it will continue to use Concord’s processing services, it does not plan to continue its participation in the ‘STAR’ network. BofA was the only sizeable owner of Star Systems that did not sign a long-term network participation contract with Concord when STAR was acquired by Concord in February. Concord will continue to provide ATM processing services to approximately 1,100 Bank of America ATMs, plus point of sale debit gateway processing to selected Bank of America merchants. Concord says the uniform pricing structure for ‘STAR’, ‘Cash Station’, and ‘MAC’, is designed to create consistency across the networks, and to remain competitive with the PIN-secured and signature debit offerings of other national payment networks. Consolidation of Concord’s network created a coast-to-coast network of 180,000 ATMs and the nation’s largest PIN-secured debit payment network with 800,000 merchant locations. There are over 124 million ATM/debit cards that carry the ‘STAR’, ‘MAC’, or ‘Cash Station’ brands. (CF Library 2/2/01; 3/29/01)Details
Scotiabank delivered record earnings in the
third quarter with net income of $554 million and diluted earnings per share
of $1.04. In comparison to last year (excluding the one-time gains), both net
income and diluted earnings per share rose by 12%.
Including last year’s one-time gains on the sale of the Bank’s stock
transfer business and Solidbank, totaling 11 cents per share, net income
increased by $6 million or 1% and diluted earnings per share were unchanged at
For the nine-month period ended July 31, 2001, net income was $1,603
million or 16% higher than the same period a year ago, excluding the one-time
gains. On the same basis, diluted earnings per share were $3.00, an increase
of 41 cents, while return on equity was 17.4%, compared to 17.1%.
“Solid earnings and revenue growth continued across all business lines in
the third quarter, keeping us on track to meet or exceed our performance
targets for 2001,” said Peter Godsoe, Chairman and CEO. “Our broad-based
revenue streams and a consistent focus on cost control have enabled us to
maintain our strong earnings momentum.
“We continued to proactively manage our credit portfolios, resulting in a
significant reduction in net impaired loans,” said Mr. Godsoe. “We
strengthened our general provision by another $75 million this quarter. Our
strong corrective action is keeping us on track to meet our credit quality
targets for the end of the year.”
(1) Reported in other liabilities in the Condensed Consolidated Balance
Sheet. See Prospectus dated March 28, 2000, for convertibility
Further details are available in Notes 12 and/or 13 of the October 31,
2000, Consolidated Financial Statements presented in the 2000 Annual Report.
On April 26, 2001, the Bank redeemed all of the Series 10 preferred
shares at their stated outstanding value of ten dollars per share for a total
of seventy one thousand dollars.
Direct deposit service
Shareholders may have dividends deposited directly into accounts held at
financial institutions which are members of the Canadian Payments Association.
To arrange direct deposit service, please write to the Transfer Agent.
Dividend and Share Purchase Plan
Scotiabank’s dividend reinvestment and share purchase plan allows common
and preferred shareholders to purchase additional common shares by reinvesting
their cash dividend without incurring brokerage or administrative fees.
As well, eligible shareholders may invest up to $20,000 each fiscal year
to purchase additional common shares of the Bank. Debenture holders may apply
interest on fully registered Bank subordinated debentures to purchase
additional common shares. All administrative costs of the Plan are paid by the
For more information on participation in the Plan, please contact the
Dividend dates for 2001
Record and payment dates for common and preferred shares, subject to
approval by the Board of Directors.
Record Date Payment Date
Jan. 2 Jan. 29
April 3 April 26
July 3 July 27
Oct. 2 Oct. 29
If your shareholdings are registered under more than one name or address,
multiple mailings will result. To eliminate this duplication, please write to
the Transfer Agent to combine the accounts.
NetBank, the country’s largest independent Internet bank, began selling foreign currency, travelers cheques and Visa TravelMoney over its Web site through an agreement with Thomas Cook Currency Services, a division of the Travelex Group. The bank introduced a link on its homepage to a co-branded site, powered by Travelex’s My Travel Wallet application, where NetBank customers and the general public can order the foreign currency products. The bank has branded the new service NetBank Travel Cash.
“This is an exciting offering for us,” said Michael R. Fitzgerald, NetBank president. “Over the past year, we have introduced a number of new services, including account aggregation and insurance products, to further establish NetBank as a financial services destination site for consumers. Our new currency service continues this effort. The service is available to NetBank account holders as well as visitors to our site. It gives us a great opportunity to expand our business and start new customer relationships.”
“We are thrilled to launch this service with NetBank,” said Anthony Horne, managing director of Travelex America. “NetBank is well-known for introducing secure, innovative services. The bank has a high-traffic Web site and a large number of loyal, technology-savvy customers. The deal puts our services in front of a targeted group of consumers and provides the bank with the potential for significant new revenue.”
Consumers may order foreign currency or travelers cheques in a specific currency and receive them overnight or by two-day delivery. There is a $200 minimum and $1,500 maximum per order and no service fee assessed. Orders over $500 are sent via two-day delivery at no cost. Currently, there are more than 75 different currencies and 7 foreign currency travelers cheques available for purchase. Orders can be paid for using a Visa or MasterCard(R) credit or debit card, including NetBank’s Visa Check Card.
Visa TravelMoney, a pre-paid debit card that is accepted at more than 627,000 ATMs worldwide, represents a good alternative for consumers who do not have a bank ATM or debit card or prefer not to use their bank cards abroad. The Visa TravelMoney card is loaded in U.S. dollars, up to a maximum amount of $1,500. Consumers can use the card to withdraw cash in local currencies at ATMs on the Visa or Plus(R) networks. The card is PIN-protected and can be replaced overnight if lost or stolen. There is a $300 minimum purchase amount and a $15 activation fee per card, which includes three free withdrawals.
NETBANK, Inc., (Nasdaq: NTBK), is a financial services company that has recorded 13 consecutive quarters of profitability to date. Its wholly owned subsidiary, NetBank, Member FDIC, currently has $2.2 billion in assets and serves customers in all 50 states and 20 foreign countries. NetBank shares the operational cost savings of its branchless business model with customers through high interest rates on deposit accounts and reduced- or no-fee banking services. The bank offers a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage and lending products along with innovative services. Customers enjoy free interest-bearing checking with an ATM or Visa(R) Check Card, free unlimited online bill payment and presentment, wireless account access and an account consolidation service that allows them to manage their online accounts at other institutions through the NetBank Web site. Readers of Worth honored NetBank as a top online bank in the magazine’s 2000 and 2001 “Readers’ Choice Awards.” For more information, visit NetBank at .
Travelex, founded in 1976, is a diversified money business offering retail, corporate and commercial currency services to consumers, corporations and institutions throughout the world. The Travelex Group acquired Thomas Cook Global & Financial Services, the financial services division of Thomas Cook, on March 27, 2001, solidifying the company’s position as the world’s largest foreign currency specialist. Headquartered in London, Travelex is privately owned and employs approximately 6,000 staff around the world. 3i, Europe’s largest venture capital company, is a 33% shareholder. For more information about the company, please visit . For further details on My Travel Wallet, visit .Details
Laurentian Bank reported net income before goodwill of $23.6 million for
the quarter ended July 31, 2001, compared to $19.6 million for the same period
in 2000, an increase of 20%. Diluted earnings per share where $ 0.88 for the
third quarter of 2001, compared to $ 0.80 in 2000. Return on common
shareholders’ equity before goodwill was 13.4% for the quarter, compared to
13.6% in 2000, reflecting the impact of the increase in the Bank’s book value
from $23.83 to $26.53 over the past year.
The third quarter results include the following special items:
– A dilution gain of $12.4 million ($12.4 million after income taxes)
arising from the initial public offering (IPO) of 6.4 million treasury
common shares of B2B Trust.
– The constitution of a provision of $17.5 million ($11.4 million after
income taxes) related to the restructuring of certain Retail Banking
operations aimed at further improving efficiency, for the repositioning
of the group’s Wealth Management activities and for certain corporate
– A net income tax charge of $1.1 million principally reflecting the
impact of the recent Ontario corporate income tax rate reduction on B2B
Trust’s future income tax asset.
The impact of these special items on net income is ($0.1) million
resulting in diluted earnings per share excluding special items of $0.88 for
the third quarter of 2001, an increase of 10% over the same period last year
which had no special items.
For the first nine months of the current fiscal year, net income before
goodwill totalled $70.3 million or $2.63 diluted earnings per share, compared
to $53.0 million or $2.11 diluted earnings per share in 2000, an increase of
25%. Return on shareholders’ equity before goodwill was 13.8% for the first
nine months of 2001, while it was 12.3% in 2000.
Commenting on third quarter activities, Henri-Paul Rousseau, President
and Chief Executive Officer said: “The Bank is pleased with these results and
its stronger capital position. The Bank’s lines of business have continued to
generate growth while the Quebec Scotiabank branches acquisition has generated
the expected synergies.” He added that, “We are also proud to have completed
the outsourcing of our technology development activities to CGI in June as
well as the B2B Trust IPO in July that provides, among other benefits,
additional capital to the Bank and B2B Trust. Over the last twelve months, the
Bank has increased its capital base by $265 million, an increase of 27%. On
the other hand, the Bank has decided to take important measures for which a
special provision has been established to stimulate two strategic areas of the
Bank, namely Retail Banking and Wealth Management, areas which need to improve
efficiency. We remain prudent given the prevailing economic context and
confident that our banking operations will continue to perform well,
generating improved efficiency, growth and returns.”
The improvement of the Bank’s core profitability during the third quarter
of 2001, when compared to the third quarter of 2000, is largely explained
by the following factors:
– Excluding the $12.4 million dilution gain, total revenue grew 21% to
$153.7 million in 2001 from $127.2 million in 2000 due to the
acquisition of the Scotiabank branches, which took effect in fiscal
2001, asset growth in the lines of business and improved loan and
deposit mix. Net interest income reached 2.13% of average assets in
2001 compared to 2.05% in 2000. Core non-interest income grew from
$51.1 million in 2000 to $60.0 million in 2001 due to higher loan and
deposit fee income in retail and commercial operations.
– Excluding the $17.5 million provision, non-interest expenses increased
from $89.7 million to $107.0 million, representing an increase of 19%
over 2000. The efficiency ratio (expenses including goodwill divided by
revenues), excluding special items, improved from 70.9% in 2000 to
70.4% in 2001.
– The provision for credit losses was $9.5 million for the third quarter
of 2001 compared to $6.7 million for the same period in 2000 and $8.0
million in the previous quarter. The estimate of loan losses for the
year was revised to $35.0 million from the previous estimate of $32.0
– Excluding the effect of special items, the effective tax rate was 34.7%
compared to 36.4% last year.
TOTAL REVENUE was $166.1 million in the third quarter of 2001 compared to
$127.2 million in the same quarter in 2000, for an increase of 31%, reflecting
the Quebec Scotiabank branches acquisition, the dilution gain resulting from
the B2B Trust IPO, improved loan and deposit margins and internal growth. The
Bank’s net interest income increased 23% from $76.1 million to $93.7 million
as a result of 16% growth in average loan volumes and an improvement from
2.05% to 2.13% in interest margins due to continued improvement in the loan
and deposit mix. The net interest margin for the nine-month period improved
from 1.91% in 2000 to 2.16% in 2001. Non-interest income was $72.4 million
during the quarter compared to $51.1 million in the third quarter of 2000. The
increase is attributable to the $12.4 million dilution gain and higher lending
and deposit fee income associated with additional volumes.
NON-INTEREST EXPENSES were $124.5 million during the third quarter of
2001 compared to $89.7 million in the same period in 2000. During the quarter,
the Bank constituted a provision of $17.5 million for restructuring two
important sectors of the Bank: Retail Banking, which will take measures to
further improve its efficiency and generate increased growth and Wealth
Management, a sector which will be given increased strategic emphasis. The
provision also includes charges for certain corporate activities associated
with changes in the Bank Act and corporate structures. Without this provision,
expenses increased by 19% year over year, essentially as a result of the
Scotiabank branches acquisition, increases in performance incentives and the
cost of post-employment benefits; on the same basis, the efficiency ratio
improved from 70.9% in the third quarter of 2000 to 70.4% in the third quarter
of 2001. The number of employees (full time equivalent basis) was 3,968 at
July 31, 2001 compared to 3,608 a year ago, essentially due to the acquired
Scotiabank branches offset by the outsourcing of technology operations.
The PROVISION FOR CREDIT LOSSES was $9.5 million in the third quarter of
2001 or 0.22% of average assets versus $6.7 million or 0.18% in the third
quarter of 2000. The 2001 credit loss estimate has been increased to
$35.0 million from the previous estimate of $32.0 million and actual losses of
$25.0 million in 2000. The increase is due to growth in the loan portfolios
resulting from acquisitions, volume increases in the personal and commercial
loan portfolios and a slight increase in the level of impaired Commercial
loans. Gross impaired loans totalled $139.6 million or 1.00% of total loans at
July 31, 2001, and represents an increase of $25.2 million from July 31, 2000.
Over the last three years, the level of gross impaired loans as a percentage
of total loans has fluctuated between 0.96% and 1.01% of total loans. The
level of gross impaired loans at July 31, 2001 at 1.00% is within the three-
year historical range. Total provisions increased by $17.6 million from
$112.2 million in July 2000 to $129.8 million at July 31, 2001. Net impaired
loans were $9.9 million or 0.1% of total loans and bankers’ acceptances at the
end of the quarter compared to $2.3 million and 0.0% at July 31, 2000. The
Bank’s general provision was $85.0 million at July 31, 2001 compared to
$80.0 million at October 31 and July 31, 2000.
INCOME TAX EXPENSE for the third quarter of 2001 was $7.9 million.
Excluding the impact of special items, the charge was $12.9 million and this
represented an effective tax rate of 34.7% during the third quarter of 2001
compared to 36.4% for the same period last year.
BALANCE SHEET ASSETS stood at $17.3 billion at July 31, 2001 compared to
$15.2 billion at the same date last year, for an increase of $2.1 billion or
14%, after securitization of over $0.7 billion of mortgage loans during the
period. Balance sheet assets stood at $14.7 billion at October 31, 2000.
During the quarter, the Bank completed the securitization of residential
mortgages in the amount of $55.0 million using a new CMHC investment pool for
the first time along with several large Canadian banks. Total loans, excluding
treasury loans and before securitization, increased by $2.5 billion, of which
$1.8 billion is the result of the Scotiabank branches acquisition. The growth
generated by the Bank’s lines of business during the period amounts to
$0.7 billion, $182.0 million of which are personal loans, $238.0 million are
commercial loans and $321.0 million are residential mortgages. Total personal
deposits grew by $1.2 billion during the period, including the deposits that
were part of the acquired Scotiabank branches, increasing from $10.0 billion
in 2000 to $11.2 billion in 2001. Personal deposits represent 79% of total
deposits of $14.2 billion at July 31, 2001 compared to 82% at July 31, 2000.
ASSETS UNDER ADMINISTRATION stood at $12.75 billion at July 31, 2001 and
2000. There was a slight increase in mutual fund assets and mortgage loans
under management resulting from securitization activities offset by a slight
decrease in trust assets and the market value of self-directed plans.
TOTAL CAPITAL of the Bank, comprised of common shareholders’ equity,
preferred shares, non-controlling interest and debentures, reached
$1,260 million at July 31, 2001 compared to $995 million at July 31, 2000, an
increase of $265 million over the year. The BIS Tier 1 and Total capital
ratios were 8.1% and 12.2%, respectively, compared to 7.3% and 10.7% a year
ago. The total asset to BIS capital leverage ratio was 15.4 compared to 16.8
at July 31, 2000. During the quarter, the Bank redeemed its 10.25% Series 1
debentures in the amount of $42.2 million and issued an additional tranche of
$50 million of 6.50% Series 9 debentures. In July 2001, B2B Trust completed
its IPO and issued 6,394,000 treasury shares at $9 per share for total net
proceeds of $53.1 million; as a result, a dilution gain of $12.4 million and a
non-controlling interest of $41.3 million have been recorded by the Bank. The
Bank now holds a 74.3% interest in B2B Trust .
Significant events in the Information Technology sector of the Bank
during the quarter:
– In June 2001, the Bank completed the outsourcing of its technology
development activities to CGI. Under the ten-year agreement involving
150 employees and valued at $300 million, the Bank will continue to
oversee all aspects of systems architecture, technological
orientations, information security as well as service agreement
– In June 2001, the Bank received the 2001 Octas award from the
FÃ©dÃ©ration de l’informatique du QuÃ©bec (FIQ) in the Business Solutions
category for B2B Trust and its unique technology infrastructure that
allows independent financial advisors, non-banking financial
institutions and retailers to market products and services
traditionally offered by banks.
– In August 2001, following a reference from the FIQ, the Bank received
the Award for Excellence for the same project, namely the technological
development of B2B Trust, from the Canadian Information Productivity
Awards (CIPA). The CIPA is the largest business awards program in
Canada in the field of information management.
– In August 2001, the Bank was ranked second of fourteen financial
institution Websites evaluated in Canada survey by Gomez, a North
American firm that ranks Internet sites in all sectors, for overall
customer usability in its annual Internet Banking survey. The Bank
received high marks for its on-site resources for customer service over
the telephone and through e-mail. It also was lauded for top-notch
services and information for savers and borrowers. The Bank’s Website
had been ranked third overall in the previous survey.
For the third quarter of 2001, net income contributions were 41% from
Retail Banking, 26% from B2B Trust & Agency Banking and 33% from Commercial
and Corporate Banking. The net income contributions were 22%, 42% and 36%
respectively during the third quarter of 2000.
– Net income was $8.6 million in the third quarter of 2001 versus $5.3
million in the second quarter of 2001 and $4.6 million in the third
quarter of 2000 and its efficiency ratio was 78.6%, 83.9% and 83.7%
respectively. The completed integration of the 43 Quebec Scotiabank
branches in May 2001 has generated the expected synergies.
– The Retail Banking average residential mortgage portfolio grew by $1.1
billion or 18% during the year, while the average personal loan
portfolio grew by $593 million or 38% including loans acquired from
Scotiabank and due to increases in point-of-sale financing associated
with the increase in the number of retailers including those resulting
from the Bombardier Capital alliance. We observe that growth has slowed
over the year and is associated with more consumer prudence in spending
– The Retail Banking Sector continued to implement its SAVA (Services
Sales Added, Value Added) program.
B2B TRUST & AGENCY BANKING
– This line of business is composed of B2B Trust, a federally chartered
regulated financial institution, subsidiary of the Bank, that supplies
generic and complementary banking and financial products to independent
financial advisors, non-bank financial institutions and retailers
across Canada; and the Agency Banking division, which distributes
residential mortgages, term deposits, Visa cards, banking packages and
– The contribution to net income of this sector decreased to $5.5 million
in the third quarter of 2001 from $7.0 million in the second quarter of
2001 and $8.7 million in 2000. This decrease is mainly attributable to
two factors: the $1.1 million impact resulting principally from the
recent Ontario corporate income tax rate reduction and $0.7 million of
B2B Trust net income attributable to non-controlling interest.
– Excluding special items, B2B Trust maintained its profitability and its
net income was $5.7 million or $0.28 per share, return on shareholders’
equity was 16.6% and its efficiency ratio was 45.7% in the third
quarter of 2001. Including special items, B2B Trust reported net income
of $4.6 million or $0.22 per common share during the third quarter of
2001 compared to $5.3 million or $0.29 per common share in the second
quarter. B2B Trust completed its IPO of common shares during the third
quarter. A total of 6.4 million common shares were issued at $9 per
share for net proceeds of $53.1 million. These funds will be used to
support the future expansion of B2B Trust. Its Tier I and Total capital
ratios reached 13.3% and 18.3% respectively as at July 31, 2001.
– Partnership agreements announced during the quarter:
– On May 30, 2001, B2B Trust announced that it had been selected by
AIC Limited (AIC) as the exclusive supplier of a private-branded
investment loan program involving a variety of loan products
distributed through AIC’s network of registered representatives to
complement their mutual funds offering. On June 14, 2001, the
investment loan program was launched throughout Canada through AIC’s
– On June 19, 2001, B2B Trust announced the signing of an letter of
intent with Cartier Partners Financial Group Inc., the largest
independent financial planning network in Canada with over 4,500
advisors, representatives and brokers. The letter provides that B2B
Trust will offer a chequing account under Cartier Partners’ brand
name to individuals with assets in the Cartier Money Market Fund. It
also calls for B2B Trust to develop and supply investment loans and
RRSP loans to Cartier Partners.
– On June 21, 2001, B2B Trust launched the Advisor’s Choice, a line of
banking products and services for independent financial advisors,
longstanding partners of the Agency Banking division of the Bank
since 1995. The line features a high-yield savings account, chequing
account with banking package, line of credit, debit card, Internet
transactional site and telebanking service.
– On August 9, 2001, B2B Trust announced the signing of an agreement
with Charles Schwab Canada regarding the development and supply of
banking and financial products. The integrated online brokerage,
advisory and portfolio management firm will market the products to
its Canadian customers under the SchwabOne brand name. The signing
of the agreement follows the agreement in principle announced by the
two companies in June 2001.
COMMERCIAL AND CORPORATE BANKING
– Net income was $7.0 million in the third quarter of 2001 versus $7.3
million in 2000 and the efficiency ratio was 35.1% in 2001 versus 31.1%
– The average loan portfolio grew by 5.6%, before the securitization of
$200.0 million during 2001 and fee income grew by 47.0% during the
year. The Commercial and Corporate Banking sector maintained its
profitability. There was strong growth in fee income offset by an
increase in the provision for credit losses.
– On June 28, 2001, the Bank and Textron Financial Canada entered into an
alliance whereby Textron Financial Canada will offer its financial
products and services to the Bank’s customers across Canada. In turn,
the Bank will offer its complete range of Commercial banking products
and services to customers of Textron Financial Canada.
– The net contribution of other activities increased to $1.4 million in
the third quarter of 2001 from a loss of ($1.5) million in 2000. These
results reflect the dilution gain, the restructuring provision and
increased contributions from brokerage operations and Treasury and
Financial Markets in 2001.
– The Brokerage subsidiary, Laurentian Bank Securities (LBS), contributed
$0.1 million to the Bank’s net income during the quarter compared to a
loss of $(0.3) million in 2000. It presently manages total assets of
$2.1 billion, including its own assets of $1.1 billion and its
customers’ portfolios of $1.0 billion.
– On July 10, 2001, LBS, E(*)TRADE Canada and CollectiveBid Systems Inc.
entered into an agreement whereby LBS will provide quotes of its bond
inventory to the E(*)TRADE Canada bond center in online transactions
and orders of related securities.
– In 2000, BLC-Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management Inc. launched a new
family of load mutual funds in Canada with an international focus and
entered into portfolio management activities. At the end of the third
quarter of 2001, total assets under administration of this subsidiary
were approximately $1.1 billion.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release and related communications may contain forward-looking
statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated
financial performance of Laurentian Bank. These statements are subject to a
number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from
results contemplated by the forward looking statements, principally related to
global capital market activity, changes in government monetary and economic
policies, changes in interest rates, inflation levels and general economic
conditions, legislative and regulatory developments, competition and
An Internet adult entertainment operation that billed some consumers by rerouting their connection to the Internet through Madagascar has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the billing scheme was unfair and deceptive and violated federal law. Last October the FTC filed suit against Charlo Barbosa, B.C. Ltd., and Virtualynx. The FTC charged that the defendants operated adult Web sites which offered memberships for costs ranging from $34.95 to $49.95 and allowed consumers to pay using credit or debit cards, or through 900 number charges that would appear on consumers’ phone bills. But the FTC alleged that the defendants offered another payment option involving dialer software. Using banners that said, “No credit card? No check? No problem!” they encouraged computer users to download “Sex Software” for immediate access to the adult material. When users downloaded the software, a lengthy licensing agreement appeared on the screen adjacent to a box that allowed them to click on “I agree.” Consumers’ modems were then disconnected from their regular Internet Service Provider and reconnected to the defendants’ server via an international phone line.Details
Bank of Montreal reported net income of $444
million, cash-based earnings per share of $0.88 and a cash-based return on
equity of 17.8 per cent for its third quarter ended July 31, 2001.
“Excluding non-recurring items, cash-based earnings per share increased
24 per cent from the third quarter of last year, largely driven by higher
earnings in the Investment Banking Group as well as improved results in the
Personal and Commercial Client Group,” said Tony Comper, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, Bank of Montreal. “Investment Banking Group results rose
strongly, demonstrating the Group’s ability to perform well in a difficult
capital market environment.
“The improved earnings in our Personal and Commercial Client Group
reflected volume growth in our Canadian and U.S. network. The Private Client
Group, which continues to build distribution capability that will ensure
future success, shared in the industry-wide decline in client-trading
volumes,” said Mr. Comper.
Third Quarter 2001 compared with Third Quarter 2000
Net income for the Investment Banking Group was $163 million in the third
quarter, a $28 million or 20 per cent increase over the same period last year,
reflecting improved performance in interest-rate-sensitive businesses and in
client-driven trading activities.
Personal and Commercial Client Group results, excluding non-recurring
items, were $13 million higher than in the third quarter of last year, as the
Bank improved revenues from volume growth in Canada and the United States,
while maintaining spreads. Revenue increases were partially offset by a five
per cent increase in expenses from the same period last year, associated with
the Group’s continued investment to support future growth.
In the third quarter, the Private Client Group remained focused on its
long-term strategy – expansion of its distribution network, expansion of the
U.S. wealth management business and leveraging its relationships across the
full range of the Bank’s products and services. The Group’s financial
performance was significantly affected by lower client-trading volumes and
continuation of deteriorating market conditions and equity values. Net income
in the third quarter declined to $29 million, from $44 million in the same
period last year.
Third Quarter 2001 compared with Second Quarter 2001
Excluding non-recurring items, cash-based earnings per share rose ten per
cent from the second quarter and cash-based return on equity increased 0.6
percentage points. Net income rose by $22 million or five per cent.
Improved results were driven by higher earnings in the Personal and
Commercial Client Group and in Corporate Support, partially offset by lower
net income in the Investment Banking Group and the Private Client Group.
The Personal and Commercial Client Group’s results benefited from higher
revenues due to growth in product volumes and additional days in the third
quarter. Volumes improved from the immediately preceding quarter, reflecting
improved sales in Canada and continued growth in the United States.
Investment Banking Group results remained strong, particularly in the
context of weaker capital markets, but were down from the record results
posted in the second quarter. The decline was attributable to weaker client-
driven trading activity in Capital Markets, lower merger and acquisition
revenues from Investment Banking and lower trading revenue and commissions in
the Equity Division.
Private Client Group net income declined as weaker market conditions and
slower trading activities of the summer months resulted in lower trading
Reported results in the second quarter included non-recurring gains on
the sales of Bancomer and retail branches, and a non-recurring increase in the
general provision for credit losses.
Year-to-date Third Quarter 2001 Compared with Year-To Date Third
Excluding non-recurring items, cash-based earnings per share for the nine
months ended July 31, 2001 increased by eight per cent and cash-based return
on equity increased by 0.1 percentage points from the comparable period last
year. Net income of $1,269 million rose by two per cent.
Improved performance was driven by results from Investment Banking Group.
Personal and Commercial Client Group’s results also rose, while Private Client
Group’s net income declined.
Investment Banking Group benefited from improved results in Capital
Markets businesses due to a more favourable interest rate environment and
higher client-driven trading activity.
Revenues of Personal and Commercial Client Group increased due to higher
volumes and improved spreads. Expenses increased due to higher costs of
investing in initiatives and in increased front line sales staff.
Private Client Group net income declined from the prior year due to
unusually strong equity capital markets last year.
The Bank indicated that due to slower economic growth in North America,
excluding non-recurring items, the outlook for fiscal 2001 cash-based earnings
per share growth is approximately six to eight per cent and the outlook for
cash-based return on equity is approximately 16 to 17 per cent.
Third Quarter 2001 vs. Third Quarter 2000
Bank of Montreal earned net income of $444 million for the third quarter
of 2001, an increase of $43 million from the third quarter of 2000. Excluding
non-recurring items, which increased net income by $11 million in the third
quarter of last year, net income rose $54 million or 14 per cent.
Cash-based return on equity for the third quarter was 17.8 per cent, an
increase of 2.1 percentage points from the third quarter in the prior year.
Excluding non-recurring items in the prior year, cash-based return on equity
was 2.5 percentage points higher than in the third quarter of 2000.
Return on equity for the quarter was 16.8 per cent, compared with 15.0
per cent in the third quarter of last year. Excluding the non-recurring items
from last year, return on equity increased by 2.3 percentage points.
Cash-based earnings per share were $0.88, an increase of $0.15 or 21 per
cent from the third quarter in the prior year. Excluding non-recurring items
in the third quarter of 2000, cash-based earnings per share were $0.17 or 24
per cent better than last year. In this document, unless indicated otherwise,
all references to earnings per share and cash-based earnings per share refer
to ‘diluted’ per share amounts.
Earnings per share were $0.83 for the quarter, compared with $0.69 last
year. Excluding non-recurring items from the prior year, earnings per share
rose $0.16 or 24 per cent.
Net economic profit was $184 million for the quarter, up from $124
million last year.
The third quarter of last year benefited from a $19 million ($11 million
after-tax) gain on sales of branches. There were no non-recurring items in the
most recent quarter. The effects of non-recurring items on results are
detailed in the table on page 10.
The comparison of earnings between years is affected by changes in
accounting for the Bank’s former investment in Bancomer and this year’s
adoption of a new accounting standard related to pensions and other future
employee benefits. If the accounting used in fiscal 2001 were in effect last
year, excluding non-recurring items, net income for the third quarter of
fiscal 2001 would exceed net income for the third quarter of last year by $68
million and earnings per share would be $0.19 higher than last year.
Improved results were driven by higher Investment Banking Group net
income. Personal and Commercial Client Group, and Emfisys and Corporate
Support Group net income also rose, while Private Client Group’s results
Despite a difficult capital markets environment, Investment Banking Group
results rose strongly, reflecting continued momentum in the Capital Markets
line of business. That line benefited from significantly improved performance
in interest-rate-sensitive businesses and improved performance in client-
driven trading activities, including the commodities business that was
affected by losses in the prior year. Results also benefited from dividend
income realized in the Merchant Banking portfolio. Expenses rose year-over-
year, primarily due to higher revenue-based compensation. The provision for
credit losses increased because of weaker economic conditions in certain
sectors in the United States.
Excluding non-recurring items in the prior year, Personal and Commercial
Client Group results improved from increased volumes. Expenses rose due to
increased benefits and sales and service staffing costs, higher business
initiative spending and the impact of currency translation. Volumes increased
from the immediately preceding quarter, reflecting improved sales in Canada
and continued growth in the United States.
As expected in the current market environment, Private Client Group
earnings declined, largely due to significantly lower client-trading revenues
in full-service and direct investing and higher expenses related to acquired
businesses and initiative spending.
Emfisys and Corporate Support results improved year-over-year due to
improved corporate revenues and a more favourable tax provision, attributable
to various bank-wide tax initiatives and the resolution of issues with
taxation authorities. Revenues in the prior year included significant gains on
sales of securities.
The provision for credit losses increased year-over-year, but was
unchanged from the second quarter. Impaired loans increased because of
continuing weakness in the United States, particularly in the
telecommunications and manufacturing sectors. The levels of impaired loans are
however considered normal for this stage of the economic cycle.
As explained more fully on page 13, excluding non-recurring items, the
outlook for annual cash-based earnings per share growth for fiscal 2001 is
approximately six to eight per cent and the outlook for cash-based return on
equity is approximately 16 to 17 per cent. These changes were driven by
increased provisions for credit losses, recently weaker retail equity markets
and difficult economic conditions in the United States.
On May 23, 2001, the Bank announced its intent to increase its share
repurchase program from 30 million shares to a maximum of 52 million shares.
During the quarter, the Bank acquired 11.4 million shares at an average cost
of $38.20 per share and total cost of $436 million. Under the current program,
the Bank has acquired 32.6 million shares at an average cost of $38.68 and
total cost of $1,260 million through July 31, 2001. In fiscal 2000 and through
July 31, 2001, the Bank had returned $1.8 billion of capital to shareholders
through share buybacks. The share buybacks were responsible for a $0.05
increase in earnings per share, or seven percentage points of the overall 24
per cent increase in year-over-year growth in earnings per share.
During the quarter, the Bank completed its previously announced
acquisition of First National Bank of Joliet in the United States, resulting
in a Cdn$2 billion increase in assets and Cdn$1.6 billion increase in
liabilities at July 31, 2001. The Bank also completed its acquisition of the
Guardian Group of Funds Ltd. with its $2 billion of assets under management in
Third Quarter 2001 vs. Second Quarter 2001
Net income for the third quarter of 2001 decreased by $163 million from
$607 million in the second quarter. Excluding non-recurring items in the
second quarter, net income increased by $22 million or five per cent.
Cash-based return on equity for the third quarter was 17.8 per cent, a
decrease of 6.9 percentage points from the second quarter. Excluding non-
recurring items in the previous quarter, cash-based return on equity increased
by 0.6 percentage points.
Return on equity of 16.8 per cent was 6.9 percentage points lower than in
the second quarter. Excluding non-recurring items, return on equity increased
0.6 percentage points.
Cash-based earnings per share were $0.88, a decline of $0.27 or 23 per
cent from the second quarter. Excluding non-recurring items in the previous
quarter, cash-based earnings per share were $0.08 or 10 per cent higher than
Earnings per share decreased from $1.10 in the second quarter to $0.83 in
the third quarter. Excluding non-recurring items, earnings per share increased
by $0.07 or nine per cent.
Net economic profit decreased by $168 million from the second quarter of
the year because of non-recurring gains in the second quarter.
Results in the second quarter were affected by non-recurring items. These
included an after-tax gain of $239 million on the sale of the Bank’s
investment in Bancomer, a prudential increase of $100 million in its general
provision for credit losses and a $4 million after-tax gain on sales of
Higher earnings were driven by increased earnings in the Personal and
Commercial Client Group and by improved results in Emfisys and Corporate
Support. Net earnings of the Investment Banking Group remained strong, but
were down from the record results of the second quarter, while net income in
the Private Client Group declined because of further weakening in client
Net income of the Personal and Commercial Client Group increased from the
preceding quarter as a result of higher revenues due to growth in product
volumes and more days in the third quarter. Expenses also rose moderately due
to more days in the quarter.
Earnings from the Investment Banking Group declined from the record
earnings posted during the second quarter, but remained strong despite the
current difficult market environment. Weaker market conditions affected client-
driven trading activity in Capital Markets. Lower Investment and Corporate
Banking revenues and higher Group expenses also contributed to the decline.
Merchant Banking benefited from dividend income realized this quarter.
Net income from the Private Client Group decreased due to reduced trading
volumes in the investing businesses and lower fee-based revenues in the third
quarter. Less active summer trading and weaker market conditions were
responsible for the declines.
Emfisys and Corporate Support net earnings rose because of improved
corporate revenues and the inclusion of bank-wide benefits of tax initiatives.
Gross impaired loans increased by approximately $183 million due to
further impairments in the communications, retail and manufacturing sectors,
but remain within the expected range given the weak economic environment in
the United States.
Year-to-date 2001 vs. Year-to-date 2000
On January 23, 2001 the Bank’s Board of Directors declared a 100 per cent
stock dividend, effectively achieving a two-for-one split of the Bank’s common
shares. All data in respect of numbers of shares and per share amounts reflect
the effects of the split and all prior period comparatives have been restated
Net income for the nine months ended July 31, 2001 was $1,467 million, an
increase of $95 million from the comparable period in fiscal 2000. Excluding
non-recurring items, net income increased $27 million or two per cent to
Cash-based return on equity for the year-to-date was 19.5 per cent, an
increase of 0.9 percentage points from the comparable period in 2000.
Excluding non-recurring items in both periods, cash-based return on equity was
16.9 per cent or 0.1 percentage points higher.
Return on equity was 18.6 per cent, an increase of 0.7 per cent from
fiscal 2000 year-to-date. Excluding non-recurring items, return on equity
decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 15.9 per cent.
Year-to-date cash-based earnings per share were $2.80, an increase of
$0.31 or 12 per cent from the comparable period in 2000. Excluding non-
recurring items, cash-based earnings per share were $2.43, an increase of
$0.18 or eight per cent.
Earnings per share were $2.66, compared with $2.39 for the nine months
ended July 31, 2000. Excluding non-recurring items, earnings per share were
$2.29, up $0.14 or seven per cent from last year.
Net economic profit was $682 million year-to-date, compared with $551
million in the prior year.
In the first and second quarters of fiscal 2001, the Bank sold its entire
1,012 million shares in Bancomer, producing non-recurring gains on sale of
$321 million ($272 million after-tax). The Bank also recorded a non-recurring
$100 million ($58 million after-tax) increase in its general provision for
credit losses during the second quarter of 2001. There was no such charge for
the comparable year-to-date period in 2000. The effects of these and other non-
recurring items are outlined on page 10.
Following a dilution in Bank of Montreal’s ownership interest in Bancomer
during the third quarter of fiscal 2000, the Bank adopted the cost basis of
accounting, replacing the equity basis of accounting for its investment. This
change in accounting and the current year’s adoption of a new accounting
standard for employee benefits affect the comparison of earnings between
fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2000. If the accounting methodology used in fiscal 2001
were in effect last year, excluding non-recurring items, net income for the
nine months ended July 31, 2001 would exceed net income for the comparable
period last year by $111 million and earnings per share would be $0.31 higher
than in the prior year.
Results, excluding non-recurring items, benefited from the strong
performance of the Investment Banking Group, which was primarily driven by
improved results in the Capital Markets line of business due to a more
favourable interest rate environment and higher client-driven trading
activity, including improved results in the commodities line of business. Net
income from the Personal and Commercial Client Group also improved, due to
volume growth, increased spreads and other revenues, and lower after-tax
goodwill amortization, which more than offset increased staffing and
initiative spending. Emfisys and Corporate Support Group net income was
substantially unchanged as improved revenues, the bank-wide benefits of tax
initiatives and the resolution of issues with taxation authorities offset
declines due to lower earnings recognized on the investment in Bancomer, as a
result of the change to cost accounting, and higher investment securities
gains in fiscal 2000. Net income from the Private Client Group declined, due
largely to lower client-driven trading volumes.
(a) Personal and Commercial Client Group (P&C) provides
financial services, including Electronic Financial
Services, to households in Canada and the United
States through its branch and automated banking
machine networks, electronic banking products
including BMO mbanx direct services, credit card and
(b) Private Client Group (PCG) offers its clients a broad
array of wealth management products and services,
including retail investment products, direct and full
service investing, private banking and institutional
(c) Investment Banking Group (IBG) combines all of the
businesses serving corporate, government and
institutional clients under one umbrella.
It offers clients complete financial solutions across
the entire balance sheet, including treasury services,
foreign exchange, trade finance, corporate lending,
securitization, public and private debt and equity
capital raising. IBG also offers financial advisory
services in mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations
and restructurings, while providing its investing clients
with research, sales and trading services.
(d) Risk management and other corporate support services are
provided to operating groups by Corporate Support. The
Emfisys Group is responsible for the creation and
development of new e-business, information technology
planning, strategy and development services, together
with information technology transaction processing
capabilities, North American cash management solutions,
Cebra’s e-commerce solutions, and real estate operations
for the Bank of Montreal Group of Companies and its
customers. Emfisys and Corporate Support includes general
provision/allowances for credit losses and any residual
revenues and expenses representing the differences
between actual amounts incurred and the amounts allocated
to operating groups.
(e) Reported on a taxable equivalent basis.
Prior periods are restated to give effect to the current period’s
organization structure and presentation changes.
The most significant changes in the three months ended July 31, 2001 are
the addition of First National Bank of Joliet to P&C, the addition of
Guardian Group of Funds Ltd. to PCG and the results of the fixed income
securities of Harris Bank, formerly reported entirely in IBG, now being
reflected in all of the operating groups, aligning the term profile of
the assets of the groups with the longer-term liabilities that fund them.
Basis of presentation of results of operating groups:
Expenses are matched against the revenues to which they relate. Indirect
expenses, such as overhead expenses and any revenue that may be
associated thereto, are allocated to the operating groups using
appropriate allocation formulas applied on a consistent basis. For each
currency, the net income effect of funds transferred from any group with
a surplus to any group with a shortfall is at market rates for the
currency and appropriate term.
Segmentation of assets by geographical region is based upon the ultimate
risk of the underlying assets.
Segmentation of net income is based upon the geographic location of the
unit responsible for managing the related assets, liabilities, revenues
MasterCard launched a contest yesterday offering more than $100,000 in prizes to U.S. acquirers and member service providers that sign new merchants or expand existing merchant programs. The ‘Recurring Rewards Sales Program’ includes two grand prizes of $10,000 each, ten first prizes of $5,000 and twelve second prizes of $2,000. The program runs from September 1 through December 31, 2001. All prizes will be distributed on MasterCard Pre-paid cards. Additional reward incentives include $200 to the first 75 Acquirers and MSPs signing on new or existing merchants. Also, prizes of $500 will be awarded each month to three Acquirers and MSPs that accrue the greatest number of points. Points are earned by signing new merchants to accept the MasterCard card and/or launching new recurring payments programs with new or existing merchants. MasterCard will award these points based on merchant size ranging from less than $49.9 million in total revenue to more than $100 million. All Acquirers and MSPs registered with MasterCard International are eligible to participate in this program.Details
Research conducted recently by Visa in the UK shows that many travellers to
Europe this winter are planning to rely on their Visa payment cards when
the new single European currency euro notes and coins are introduced in
Austria, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland,
Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain on January 1, 2002.
Over half of the 1,000 adults interviewed in the UK said they will
use Visa payment cards to pay for goods and services overseas because they
are easy to use and will reduce the need to carry cash. For these two key
reasons, international travellers from around the world also are likely to
use Visa payment cards during this potentially confusing dual currency period.
Although euro was introduced in January 1999, no physical notes or
coins have yet to be issued. However, on January 1, 2002, euro notes and
coins will be introduced in all 12 European Monetary Union (EMU) countries
and will co-exist alongside their national currencies up to two months.
Effective January 1, 2002, all non-cash payments within the euro zone
have to be in euro. However national currency notes can still be dispensed
from a limited number of ATMs. It is anticipated that within the first week
of January, 90% of the euro zone ATMs will dispense only euro notes, and
the remaining will be modified to dispense euro notes by February 28,
2002*. After that date, the euro will be required for all purchases and the
national currencies will cease to be legal tender. At that point, the 12
countries will operate only in euro.
While the euro means significant changes in Europe, for consumers
using their Visa cards it will be business as usual. The Visa payment
system has been “ready for the euro” and handling euro transactions since
January 1, 1999.
“By February 28, 2002, the euro will be in full circulation within
the `euro zone,’ with the national currencies no longer available in those
countries,” said Hasan Alemdar, head of the single currency unit for Visa
International. “For the first time in history, consumers will be more
familiar with their Visa cards than with their new national currency.”
Since the euro’s introduction in 1999, Visa has processed over 16.7
million euro transactions across the European Union amounting to nearly E
920 million (US$802million)) – an increase of 550% during the last 12
months. In the first quarter of 2001, approximately 1.6% of the total
number of Visa transactions acquired in the European Monetary Union (EMU)
region were in euro.
Forty-three percent of the total value of euro transactions has been
acquired in France, the majority on Tolls and Bridge Fees. Germany acquired
the second largest value of euro transactions with 17%, followed by the
United Kingdom with 10%.
For Europe as a whole, 20% of the total euro transactions to date
relate to e-commerce purchases, showing that euro is fast becoming the
e-commerce currency throughout Europe. In fact, a 500% increase in euro
e-commerce transactions has been recorded since this time last year.
The euro was developed to make commerce more convenient for European
residents and travellers. With a single cross-border currency, it is easier
for consumers to compare prices and save currency exchange costs. In the
future, it is possible that interest rates and the price of retail goods
will decrease as cross-border competition increases.
Euro Dual Circulation Periods
Visa is the world’s leading payments brand 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 organization 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. For more information on Visa, visit our Web site at
www.visa.com .For more information on the euro, visit Visa’s special Web
InteliData Technologies a leading provider of e-finance transactional infrastructure, announced that Premier Bankcard, a leading credit card issuer, has chosen InteliData Card Solutions’ Internet Self Service suite of products to provide real-time account access and management capabilities to their over 1.6 million cardholders.
Internet Self Service will provide Premier Bankcard’s clients with the ability to manage their accounts by viewing balances, payment status, next payment due date, and cycle-to-date transactions.
“We selected InteliData Card Solutions for its ability to incorporate features that meet our needs at the initial roll-out, but still offer us the flexibility to expand our offerings in an opportune manner,” said Chris Slaba, Premier Bankcard’s Managing Officer of Business Requirements and Planning.
“InteliData was very receptive to addressing our unique requirements. This means we can offer our clients first-rate services now instead of years from now.”
InteliData’s offerings for card providers, including a customizable turnkey solution, their responsive staff, a proven track record for speed to market, and their corporate stability, were other key factors in the selection.
InteliData President and CEO, Al Dominick, stated, ” InteliData’s Card Solutions will help Premier Bankcard provide marketable products tailored to their client base.” Dominick continued, “This provides them with better tools to compete in a very competitive and very dynamic market place.”
About InteliData Technologies Corp.
InteliData (NASDAQ: INTD) provides Internet banking and card solutions plus Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) technology and services to banks, credit unions, and financial institution processors.
InteliData’s EBPP products offer banks, card issuers and other financial institutions an end-to-end solution for creating e-bills for billers, distributing e-bills and e-payments through multiple delivery channels, delivering e-bills to consumers, and enabling payment of bills through multiple payment processors utilizing OFX and IFX messaging standards.
InteliData’s Internet banking and card products provide large financial institutions throughout the U.S. with unsurpassed scalability, flexibility and security in supplying real-time, Internet based banking and card services to their customers. For more information about InteliData, visit the company’s Web site at www.intelidata.com.
About Premier Bankcard
First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard is one of the fastest-growing financial services companies in South Dakota.
Headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., the organization has a proven track record of successfully serving customers in local, state and national niche markets.
First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard offers a complete range of products and services and is known for actively supporting the communities it calls home.
First Premier Bank owns the credit card accounts and the credit card loans of Premier Bankcard. Premier Bankcard is one of the nation’s leading credit card providers, helping consumers establish or re-establish their credit history. Premier Bankcard is also the service provider for these credit card accounts. Their credit card service levels are among the highest in the nation.
The organization currently has assets of over $700 million and employs more than 1000 people in South Dakota. Currently they serve retail and business banking customers across eastern South Dakota and over 1.6 million cardholders nationwide.Details