Chase Manhattan’s Global Securities Services in London is about to announce new global Custody Mandates in Europe-one a German pension fund and the other a large European foundation, the mandate of which is worth US$2bn and will be invested globally.

Last year Chase took £50bn worth of custody business out of the UK and Europe. In the UK, it claims to be the largest custody bank in CREST- the paperless settlement transaction system from which it is gaining an increasing volume of outsourced securities settlement business.

The bank has also been beefing up its global custody and securities lending staff. Richard Steele, a former director of the London-based brokerage firm, King & Shaxson, has been app-ointed as a new product manager for UK lending - with special responsibility for eq-uity development and gilts lending-after he was made redundant by SK.

He reports to Chase’s securities lending chief, Tim Smollen.

Stephen Goldman, a spokesman for global custody and securities services, confirmed that, since Chase merged with Chemical Bank last year, It has taken on many new custody staffers, both from Chemical Bank and elsewhere, expanding its securities operations and getting much new business from CREST.”

He says: “It’s fair to say that we had a much strengthened product after our merger with Chemical Bank. We are getting securities lending relationships first and the custody follows.”

According to Goldman, Chase have “20 pieces of new custody business in the pipe-line, half of which are European” and the two European countries that are most interested in and, familiar with, securities lending and custody services right now, are Germany and Netherlands. Two years ago, he says, the balance would have been the other way round, with “75% of the new business coming out of the UK and only 25% out of Europe”.

Ann Hunt, Chase’s technical sales & product manager for securities lending, says: “There is significantly more interest coming out of Eur-ope these days. Securities lending has come of age in Europe and is regarded by European pension funds and insurance companies as a legitimate investment management tool. We signed up six new custody and securities lending clients in Europe last year and nine new clients this year.’

This client base includes central European banks as well as government and state institutions in Europe.

Later this year Chase is planning to introduce a new lending product for UK equities and gilts while continuing to service its European client base which includes countries as far apart as Iceland and Ireland.”