UK - The 1.3 billion-pound (1.8 billion-euro) Avon local government pension scheme has awarded a global custody brief to ABN Amro Mellon, resulting in a loss for seven-year incumbent HSBC Global Investor Services.

"Following a competitive tender process, Avon Pension Fund has appointed ABN Amro Mellon Global Securities Services as global custodian of its segregated assets," ABN Amro Mellon said in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The contract is effective from April 2004. Beth Dowling, spokeswoman for the joint venture, said the tender had involved four providers.

The Avon scheme is the local government pension scheme for the Avon area in western England and is administered by Bath & North East Somerset Council. It was advised by Mercer Investment Consulting.

"ABN Amro Mellon ranked highly on the key criteria of value for money and service commitment", Tony Worth, Avon Pension Fund investments officer was quoted as saying by ABN Amro Mellon. He was not immediately available for direct comment.

"With this announcement, I am pleased to be able to underline ABN Amro Mellon's commitment to the UK local authority sector," said Nadine Chakar, chief executive of ABN Amro Mellon, a 50-50 venture of ABN Amro and Mellon Financial Corp.