- JPMorgan Treasury Services spearheading industry initiative to realise a pan-European ACH with direct bank participation

- EBA STEP 2 is a central platform for validating, sorting and routing individual and bulk payment instructions with the intention of creating a pan-European ACH

10 JUNE 2003 - LONDON - JPMorgan Treasury Services (TS), a unit of JPMorgan Chase Bank and a leader in global payment, trade and treasury services management, today announced that it has begun implementation of the EBA STEP 2 platform along with a group of the industry's leading payment banks.

JPMorgan TS has been at the forefront of the drive towards a Single European Payment Arena (SEPA) and is proactively working with the European banking community to reduce the cost of cross border payments within the eurozone. Several banks have already gone live with EBA STEP 2, but JPMorgan will continue testing the system until July 1, 2003 when the European Commission's SEPA regulations also come into effect.

Richard Parkin, Vice President and Senior Product Manager at JPMorgan TS, comments, "This is a significant step forward on the road to a single European payment zone. Ultimately, our vision is a pan-European ACH scheme that will support low value euro payments, at a low cost comparable with that of domestic mass payments today. Primarily this will be a mass payments system that can reach all EU banks. For EU-compliant cross border payments, the new EBA STEP 2 system will become a key channel in 2003, enabling both customers and banks to benefit from this vision."

Press Contacts: Kelly O'Brien, Stefanie Davidson, Tom Coombes, Cognito
+44 (0)20 7936 9058

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