Italian IT company Societ Interbancaria per l’Automazione (SIA) has opened an operation in Bucharest. SIA says the new office is intended to enable the company to offer its experience and consultancy to other Eastern European countries.
SIA has also worked for the last 18 months with the National Bank of Romania to create and develop the Romanian interbank payment system, a requirement for Romania to become a member of the European Union. Its accession is scheduled for 2007.
“Our task here in Bucharest aims at modernizing and developing the Romanian financial system,” says Roberto Mori, SIA President. “It is for this reason that we need a real home in Bucharest. Not just a sales office or a service centre, but a proper head office, a meeting place, a think-tank to share our experience and gain advantage of the planning skills learned in Italy.”
The system will be based on the standards needed for Romania to adopt the euro in 2009 – 2010. The project is worth Euros 75 million.
“SIA experience in realizing the global interbanking payment system for the Central Bank has been recognized by the Romanian Government: this is a successful achievement which makes very proud the Italian Government, and the Ministry I represent,” said Adolfo Urso, Italian Minister for Foreign Trade, at the opening ceremony today.
“As a Minister responsible for the Romanian Foreign Trade I am convinced that the new payment system will allow banks and corporations to guarantee the security of transaction in conformity with the European standards,” added Romanian Minister Delegate for Commerce, Juliu Winkler.
SIA’ s new office will be based in the Romanian Stock Exchange premises, and will employ mainly Romanians.
“The decision to invest in Romania comes from the belief this country will play a strategic role in Europe,” says Renzo Vanetti, CEO of SIA. “Starting with an innovative payment system and proceeding with the automation of other services, it will be pushing other countries to accelerate on competitiveness. The result will be a healthy and efficient financial Eastern European market.”
SIA sees Eastern Europe as a natural market for its retail and gross payment systems (RTGS, ACH), and its securities settlement and custody (Clearimpact) and trading systems (TradeImpact).
SIA created, implemented and is maintaining the Italian interbank network, and manages the clearing and pre-settlement platforms for the Italian banking industry. It also supplied technology to the European Banking Association (EBA) cross-border euro payments services.