Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) is set to become a direct member of Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), the UK's high value, same-day payment system. The membership is expected to take effect in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Carole Berndt, head of global treasury services at Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at BofA Merrill, said: “In line with BofA Merrill’s strategy to strengthen the European business and be corporates’ bank of choice, we needed to create direct access to global high value clearings.

“We are already a direct high value clearer in Dollars and Euros – Sterling was the next step in continuing to bring the best transaction capability to our clients by offering a competitive treasury proposition. The move strengthens our position as a global bank within the global payments market.

“Equally, this membership will reaffirm BofA Merrill’s relationship with the UK central bank, the Bank of England, and give us a place on the CHAPS board. This is especially significant, as it provides us with opportunities to influence improvements in the UK payments arena and therefore better serve our client base.”