Grupo Banco Popular Gains Competitive Edge, Improves Efficiency With Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT and BizTalk Server

SYDNEY, Australia — Oct. 9, 2006 — Today at Sibos 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced that Grupo Banco Popular, one of Spain’s largest retail and investment banks, has implemented Microsoft® BizTalk® Accelerator for SWIFT and BizTalk Server 2004 to significantly reduce the time and risk associated with settling securities transactions. The bank can now handle increased volumes of securities processing more effectively. Employee productivity has also been improved as a result of the implementation.

Microsoft technology has been used to transform and validate the bank’s stock transfer messaging to help meet the message format changes implemented by IBERCLEAR, the Spanish securities clearinghouse. The system is now able to convert SWIFT messages to host messages and back again when information is received or sent from or to IBERCLEAR.

Grupo Banco Popular has implemented Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft SQL Server™ and Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT as part of a global information integration project. The technology provides the bank with various added functionalities including accounting associated with Banco Nacional de Credit’s payments, IBERCLEAR exchanges, cash-reporting, Senaf and, in the near future, SWIFTNet Funds.

By combining Windows® SharePoint® Services with Microsoft BizTalk Server, Grupo Banco Popular has created an integrated environment that facilitates completion of each securities transaction, in a standardized manner and by different departments. Employees are able to perform tasks more efficiently and share information more easily with colleagues, and resources can be reallocated to more profitable activities as needed.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this global information integration project, which has brought significant productivity improvements to all employees throughout the bank — from our securities transactions processing department to our cash reporting, payments, marketing and sales divisions,” said Daniel Sanz, international treasury and securities projects director at Grupo Banco Popular. “It was important to have a system that could help us comply with new messaging standards as well as offer faster settlements of securities transactions while reducing errors. Microsoft’s support network has also been of real value in the project because it helped us overcome ‘teething’ problems with minimal disruption to our operations. They not only understand our business, they also have the technical knowledge to help us achieve our business objectives using their technology.”

“This project is another great example of the work Microsoft is doing in the Spanish banking market and is a benchmark for the future use of BizTalk Server and BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT in the production environment,” said David Vander, worldwide managing director of banking at Microsoft. “We are already looking toward the future with Grupo Banco Popular and have plans to continue our collaboration with the development of new applications.”

About Grupo Banco Popular

Founded in 1926 with more than 75 years of experience, Grupo Banco Popular is the third largest banking group in Spain managing more than 100.000 million Euros in assets. The group focuses on retail banking with presence in Spain, France and Portugal, but it has other mortgage, stand-alone and private banking with more than 2200 branches and 3327 ATM’s. Moreover, the group includes several financial companies, portfolio management, life insurance, mutual fund management, retirement plan management, renting, venture capital company and stock broking.

Grupo Banco Popular is one of the European leaders in ROE (21,74), ROA (1,36) and efficiency (31,94), and it has been rated by the most prestigious rating agencies as the best private bank in Spain.

About Microsoft in Financial Services

Microsoft’s Financial Services Group helps financial firms leverage technology to amplify the impact their people can deliver to drive business success. We help our customers in banking, capital markets and securities, and insurance achieve four business outcomes: develop relationships, drive innovation, improve operations and build connections. To do this, we focus our products and technologies, and our work with leading solutions, services and hardware partners, on key areas where we believe we and our partners can deliver exceptional value. Those areas include advisor platforms, channel renewal, core banking, enterprise risk management and compliance, insurance value chain, and payments. More information can be found at

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