Monday, October 01, 2007

The buzz on the exhibition floor

At Sibos it is always interesting to try and sound out the unofficial news that does not make it to the press release stage for obvious reasons. Wandering around the exhibition floor, one picks up a lot of unofficial 'noise and one of the comments an industry source made to me concerns ABN AMRO, the top tier financial services provider, which has two high profile suitors, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

I was at a financial services event in London the other day where an employee of ABN AMRO piped up saying that,'If there is anyone in the room from RBS, you are looking very attractive."

That would seem to suggest that RBS is the favoured suitor for the Dutch bank. But the buzz on the exhibition floor is what does that mean for ABN AMRO, its customers and the product offerings the Dutch bank is promoting at Sibos, which include its SEPA offering and enhancements to its MaxTrad platform, including the implementation of Adobe's LiveCycle solution for creating "MaxTrad Express" geared at smaller-to-medium-sized customers that would not normally be able to leverage the bank's MaxTrad capabilities?

But with the whiff of consolidation in the air, the question on some observer's lips was, 'Will those same solutions and products be available in a few months time if ABN AMRO is acquired, and what does this all mean for end customers?

Judging by the ample size of its exhibition stand at Sibos, ABN AMRO appears to be taking it all in its stride, adopting a 'business as usual' stance until details of any potential acquisition are finalised.

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