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ABN Amro has been awarded a mandate by FirstRand Bank for third and fourth party CLS services in South Africa. The mandate covers FirstRand’s operations in South Africa as well as its African subsidiaries and will see FirstRand becoming one of the first banks in Africa to go live for third party CLS services

The two banks have also signed a partnership covering the provision of private-labelled fourth party CLS services for banks across Africa. The partnership will capitalise on FirstRand’s pan-African network and ABN Amro’s leading CLS capabilities.

Sam Zavatti, senior executive vice-president, Financial Institutions and Public Sector at ABN Amro says: “With the addition of the rand to the growing list of CLS currencies, there is now an even greater imperative for South African organisations to adopt this risk free settlement system. I am delighted that FirstRand has chosen ABN Amro as its CLS partner to enable FirstRand to lead the way in Africa.”

Louis Jordaan, CEO, FNB International Banking (a division of FirstRand Bank) adds: “A key factor in our decision to work with ABN Amro was their ability to provide an all encompassing CLS solution and a highly flexible and supportive approach. ABN Amro understood our needs and current set-up, offering us a tailo-made solution that will allow us to implement as soon as possible. ABN Amro’s extensive experience in CLS and partnership approach gave us confidence that we will exceed our CLS objectives.”

Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) is a means of settling foreign exchange transactions finally and irrevocably. It eliminates settlement risk, improves liquidity management, reduces operational banking costs and improves operational efficiency and effectiveness.