Four large banking companies with primary operations outside New York Bank of America Corp., Bank One Corp., First Union Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co. said they will join the New York Clearing House Association next year, expanding its scope and increasing its membership to 12.
The associations member roster already included several companies not based in New York but that serve customers worldwide. The four new members will probably give the nations oldest and largest bank clearing house even more of a global perspective though, said Mitch Christensen, executive vice president of payment strategies at Wells Fargo. When Wells meets with the associations board next year, it will suggest changing the groups name to reflect the broadened membership, he said.
The New York Clearing House Association, established in 1853, serves 1,300 financial institutions and processes $1.462 trillion on an average day. Besides supplying payment services, it produces studies and legislative testimony that have proven effective in influencing regulations, lawmaking, and litigation of importance to commercial banking.
We didnt want the New York Clearing House to be viewed as just a New York clearing house, Mr. Christensen said. We want something bigger than that to demonstrate it is really going to be a national clearing house.
Jeffrey P. Neubert, president and chief executive officer of the New York Clearing House Association, was CEO of Bank Ones payment services division before coming to lead the association a year ago. Now his former employer has joined the fold.
There was a time when the association was New York-centric, but we havent been so for some time, Mr. Neubert said. The addition of these new banks should put to rest for all time that notion.
Among the associations other members, five are based in New York: Bank of New York Co.; Chase Manhattan Corp.; Citigroup Inc.; J.P. Morgan & Co.; and HSBC Americas Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of London-based HSBC Holdings PLC. Two of these, Morgan and Chase, intend to merge soon.
The three other members are Deutsche Bank, FleetBoston Financial Corp., and ABN Amro Holding NV.
The addition of our newest members means we will draw from a broader and more diverse base when we present policy positions on behalf of our members, Mr. Neubert said.
Daniel Riley, a global treasury services executive at Bank of America, said his company joined the association to play a role in shaping payments policy. We wanted to continue to strengthen our involvement in the issues the clearing house gets involved with, he said. This allows us to have a stronger voice. One of the goals of expanding the membership is to get broader input from major banks across the country.
According to Mr. Christensen, Wells Fargo is looking at joining as a longer-term strategy to seek as a group to influence the payments business.
The association has scrapped a plan announced in May to form a consortium of banks that would develop Internet payment capabilities for electronic marketplaces, Mr. Neubert said. It will be up to member banks to approach marketplaces individually, he said, though they can offer the clearing houses technology.