ABN Amro has announced three CLS third party services mandates this week, at Banque Marocaine due Commerce Exterieur, Morocco (BMCE), Blom Bank of the Lebanon, and Banca Transilvania of Romania. JPMorgan has also signed its first non-bank CLS client in Refco Capital Markets.
The Dutch bank is to begin processing BMCE, Blom and Banca Transilvania FX business through its CLS FastTrack service, which provides trade information to third party clients via a Web browser interface.
Eric Aouani, assistant general manager, BMCE says: "BMCE hopes to be the first Moroccan bank - possibly even the first in North Africa - to adopt CLS."
Futures merchant Refco will be the first brokerage to adopt CLS. As a non-bank, and not on the Swift network, Refco is connecting to the risk reduction service via JPMorgan's Global Client Access electronic banking platform.
Speaking at Sibos yesterday, Rob Close CLS deputy CEO indicated that the system was on course for break-even by year-end. Shrugging off disappointment among settlement members at the generally slow uptake by third party banks, Close sounded an optimistic note for future progress.
"With eight per cent of volume already coming from third parties, we are confident this will increase," he said. "We currently have over 90 third parties live on the system and expect to have as many as 140 by early 2004."