ABN Amro has been awarded a mandate by Groupe Caisse d’Epargne, one of the largest financial services institutions in France, to provide outsourced and white-labelled trade services.

The agreement, believed to be the first of its kind in mainland Europe, will see Groupe Caisse d’Epargne make use of ABN Amro’s trade services technology and global network. It will enable Groupe Caisse d ‘Epargne to compete more effectively for trade business and build its market share by providing market-leading services to its clients, backed by ABN’s ongoing investment in scale and new functionality.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, chief operating officer of ABN Amro, says: “Long-term partnerships such as this require a significant amount of confidence and trust between institutions; I am delighted that Groupe Caisse d ‘Epargne has shown that confidence in ABN Amro and we look forward to further building on our relationship as we work together over the coming years.”

Groupe Caisse d ‘Epargne is the third largest banking network in France with around 26mn customers. It comprises the 32 regional Caisse d ‘Epargne and member banks Banque Palatine and the Financire OCEOR.

Nicolas Merindol, member of the board of directors responsible for commercial banking and strategy of la Caisse Nationale des Caisses d ‘Epargne explains: “To serve the needs of corporate clients we created a new group subsidiary, ‘Banque Palatine’. Our partnership with ABN Amro will enable Palatine to provide market-leading trade finance services – a core part of its offering.”

GCE will be able to make full use of MyMaxTrad, the latest enhancement to ABN Amro’s award winning trade portal. The new service enables financial institutions customise the MaxTrad interface, reflecting their own branding – in this case also with a full French translation, enabling GCE to retain its own brand and build its client franchise, whilst offering their customers online access to a broad and expanding range of trade finance products and services.

“Our approach to the development of products and services continues to be one of providing significant value-add, rather than a basic product set,” explains Daniel Cotti, global head of Transaction Products at ABN Amro.

“The trade business is an area that requires significant ongoing investment and product innovation to maintain and grow market share. Groupe Caisse d ‘Epargne can benefit from ABN Amro’s long-term commitment to providing traditional and emerging trade services and solutions, whilst significantly reducing their fixed costs,” he continues.
In 2004 ABN signed similar trade services agreements with Barclays and Allied Irish Bank, both of which are now fully operational.

Last year ABN also signed a major contract extension with Key Bank in the US.