CIBC enters alliance to offer banking to US retailer

CIBC and Ahold USA, a U.S. food retail and service company, announced Monday a strategic alliance to offer electronic banking services to new customers in the United States.

The Amicus Financial division of CIBC, together with Ahold USA, will offer financial services to Ahold USA’s customers in selected markets of the eastern United States through ATMs, telephone call centres, the Internet and in-store pavilions. The services will be launched in the fall of 2001.

Amicus Financial – a division of CIBC, provides electronic financial services for President’s Choice Financial, Marketplace Bank and Safeway SELECT Bank, as well as Sympatico-Lycos -through its network of 300 pavilions, contact centres and 4,500 ABMs in North America.

Brian Cassidy, Amicus CEO, said that Amicus Financial has already – in just three years – built the largest Internet bank in North America. The ‘bricks and clicks’ model represents a new way of banking that has proven to be better than traditional branch banking or pure Internet banking, Cassidy said. According to Amicus there are currently 658,000 customers who bank with them and 35,000 more join every month.

Now, Amicus Financial has combined their electronic banking capabilities with Royal Ahold, an international food provider to deliver similar services throughout the United States. Royal Ahold has total consolidated sales of US$52.5 billion. Over 60 per cent of its worldwide sales are currently generated in the United States. Its five US supermarket operations generate sales of over $US 27.8 billion and include Stop & Shop in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York; Giant Food in the District of Columbia and Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware; Giant Food Stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia; Tops Markets in western New York state, Ohio and Pennsylvania; and BI-LO in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. Ahold has also developed a strong presence in the growing American food service sector. U.S. Foodservice and the recently acquired PYA/Monarch foodservice company have operations across America and combined sales of approximately US$12 billion. Ahold USA also has e e-commerce operations in which Peapod -a food e-tailer plays a growing role.