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London, 6th April 2004: The Independent TWIST (Treasury Workstation Integration Standards Team) standards initiative today announced that BACS Limited and Eurobase International have agreed to become gold level sponsors of TWIST. The TWIST initiative has been formed to stimulate the adoption of common standards built around XML across the financial services industry. These new sponsorship arrangements are designed to further progress the work that has already been done and establish a proper legal standing for TWIST alongside the protection of its intellectual property.

TWIST standards have the potential to play an increasingly important role in
the standardisation of commercial payments and working capital financing as
well as corporate treasury operations. BACS and Eurobase have - as the first
direct sponsors of TWIST - recognised the business value that common standards, through efficiency and ease of integration, will deliver to customers involved in a multitude of financial transactions.

Referring to this announcement, Tom Buschman of Shell, who co-ordinates TWIST activity, said: "Up to now, TWIST activity has been successfully undertaken on a largely voluntary basis. However, with the growth in uptake of the FX and money market standards and the imminent release of payment standards, there is a need to support TWIST with a formalised organisation structure. This sponsorship will enable us to move TWIST forward on a number of fronts, from incorporating TWIST as a not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee, which protects the intellectual property rights and the TWIST brand-name, to enhancing the publication of the actual XML schemes for the standards that we have developed."

Tim Lambertstock, Technology Strategy Manager at BACS, added: "The TWIST standards cover commercial transactions where BACS already provide services to our shareholding banks and corporate customers. We recognise the value of developing XML-based standards and expanding their application in these areas to standardise processes as much as possible and to lower the costs of doing business. We are very pleased to support taking forward the work that has already been done by the TWIST community and to formalise the TWIST organisation."

David Mallinder, Head of Business Development at Eurobase Banking Solutions,
also comments: ''We are very pleased to have become a sponsor of the standard. Eurobase is committed to propagating XML throughout its product set including our leading edge front and middle office system Siena. Eurobase has significant expertise in XML standards and has converted its existing XML formats to be compatible with the TWIST standard. Because of our involvement in the initiative and in-depth understanding of the protocol, we are at an advanced stage in being able to offer TWIST connectivity tools and integration services to the financial community''.

TWIST aims to allow organisations to implement effective and controlled straight through processing with single points of data entry, throughout their internal and external trade life cycles. After a unique harmonisation effort together with IFX, OAGi and SWIFT a complete set of XML-based payment standards will be published in Q2 2004. In the meantime, TWIST has furthered its efforts in developing standards for wholesale financial transactions.

For further information please contact:
Lisa Welsh
Band & Brown
020 7419 7000