UK - Around 65 staff at Standard Life Investments could be set to transfer to the Bank of New York in Edinburgh in an outsourcing deal.

"After assessing the respective merits of a number of leading service providers, the Standard Life Investments board has decided to enter into a 'handshake agreement' with the Bank of New York for the outsourcing of a range of mutual funds administration services," said operations director William Littleboy.

"This is an important transaction which further positions us as a leading provider of mutual fund administration in Europe," said Bank of New York Europe head Tim Keaney. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Standard Life said it was "convinced that this decision would ensure the company remains well placed to meet the needs of its developing business and its clients".

Meanwhile, assets under custody at the bank have risen $1.3trn in the past year. It said in its first-quarter earnings report that assets under custody reached $9.9trn (€7.6trn) at the end of the first quarter, from $8.6trn a year ago.

Total assets under management rose to $104bn from $92bn. The breakdown was as follows: equities (34%), fixed income (21%), alternatives (15%), liquid assets (30%).

First-quarter net income rose to $379m from $351m in the prior year period.

It said: "First quarter 2005 highlights include solid performance in securities servicing, asset management, and foreign exchange and other trading, continued excellent credit performance, and good expense control."

Securities servicing fees came in at $751m, up five percent from a year ago.

"Our securities servicing businesses maintained good revenue momentum following the very strong results in the fourth quarter of 2004," said chairman and chief executive Thomas Renyi.