Banknorth Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:BKNG), one of the country’s 35 largest commercial banking companies, has signed a long-term agreement with Metavante Corporation for a suite of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Card solutions. Metavante is the financial technology subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE:MI).Metavante will provide Banknorth with ATM management, transaction routing and switching along with PIN-based card transaction processing. Banknorth has over 400 ATMs and over 800,000 ATM and debit cards. Metavante currently provides Banknorth with trust processing from its Wealth Management solution. Metavante anticipates completing the Banknorth conversion to its EFT and Card solution in the fourth quarter of 2002.”Our goal was to find an EFT and card partner that gives us the capability to support and expand our product offerings on a single, high-performance platform,” said William J. Ryan, president and chief executive officer, Banknorth Group. “Not only did Metavante meet our service, feature and usability criteria, but they also exceeded them with its state-of-the-art technology that includes features like web-based ATM monitoring.””We are thrilled to be able to expand Metavante’s relationship with Banknorth,” said Frank D’Angelo, senior vice president and general manager, Metavante EFT and Card. “Given the scalability of our solution, we are confident we will be able to support the growth objectives and future business strategies of Banknorth.”Metavante is a leading provider of Electronic Funds Transfer and Card solutions, including account processing, merchant servicing, database management, data entry, card personalization, and fulfillment services for debit, credit, stored-value, prepaid, transit, and ATM cards. Metavante provides EFT and card services to approximately 1,600 financial services providers in the United States. Metavante links with all major electronic funds transfer networks, gateways, and processors to route and authorize ATM and debit card transactions for banks, credit unions, Internet banks and independent sales organizations.
8minute Solar Energy says its project pipeline now totals more than 18GW FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PVTech:8minute Solar Energy has bolted a further 3GW of large-scale solar projects onto its pipeline, taking the developer’s tally to more than 18GW.8minute also confirmed that it had sourced additional corporate-level funding to develop that pipeline further, noting that it would also help advanced the firm’s so-called “new generation” project design that incorporates battery storage.Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO at 8minute, said the company had spent recent months adding to the “bench strength” of its team, recruiting developers, engineers and technology innovators in a bid to improve the cost-competitiveness of its solar projects. This has resulted in growth of its project pipeline through its key markets of California, Texas and the US Southwest.New development capital has been raised from its JV partners including JP Morgan Asset Management and Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners, while the University of California (UC) Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents – the body responsible for management UC’s investment funds – recently joined 8minute’s stable as a “significant investor”.While no specific details of projects were forthcoming, 8minute did stress that it was keen to replicate the model spearheaded by its Eland Solar & Storage Center in Kern County, California. Having received approval for the project last year, 8minute will combine 400MWac of solar with 300MW/1,200MWh of energy storage, providing dispatchable power at a price of under US$0.04c/kWh, the company claimed.8minute sold the Eland project to asset manager Capital Dynamics earlier this year, however it remains an equity partner in it and has remained as its developer.[Liam Stoker]More: 8minute takes U.S. pipeline to 18GW, boasts new investment
February 15, 2002 Regular News Bar prohibited from taking sales tax stand Bar prohibited from taking sales tax stand The Florida Bar cannot, under existing U.S. and Florida Supreme Court rulings, lobby the legislature on proposed sales taxes on services, including legal fees.Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, who represents the Bar when it is sued and advises it on constitutional issues, has rendered that opinion in response to a question from Bar President Terry Russell. Russell had been asked by Senate President John McKay, R-Tampa, who is pushing a tax reform measure, for the Bar’s position on services taxes.Richard’s January 14 letter was presented to the Board of Governors at its February 1 meeting in Tampa, and the board took no action on it.Richard said the Bar could offer technical assistance on a services tax, such as advising whether the tax constitutionally could apply to criminal defense fees.The Bar’s ability to lobby on political issues, Richard wrote, is defined in two rulings, both of which came after the 1987 battle over the short-lived services tax. The cases are Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990), and The Florida Bar Re: Schwarz, 552 So.2d 1094 (Fla. 1989).“In Keller, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the use of compulsory bar dues for political advocacy except with respect to improvement of the administration of justice,” Richard said.The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has further ruled that issues in that category “include regulation of attorneys, budget appropriations for the judiciary and legal aid, proposed changes in litigation procedures, regulations of attorneys’ client trust accounts, and law school and bar admission standards,” the letter said.“In Schwarz, the Florida Supreme Court restricted the authority of The Florida Bar to engage in any political advocacy whatsoever, regardless of whether or not it involved the use of compulsory dues” unless five conditions were met, Richard noted. Those five conditions are: matters concerning the regulation and discipline of attorneys; matters relating to the functioning and efficiency of the courts; increasing the availability of legal services; regulation of attorneys’ trust accounts; and issues affecting the education, ethics, competence, regulation, and integrity of the legal profession.The court did say, Richard noted, the Bar could lobby on additional issues if they met all parts of a three-pronged test:• “The issue be recognized as being of great public importance.”• “That lawyers are especially suited by their training and experience to evaluate and explain the issue.”• “The subject matter affects the rights of those likely to come into contact with the judicial system.”Richard said the Florida Supreme Court held in The Florida Bar Re: Frankel, 581 So.2d 1294 (Fla. 1991), that the Bar could not lobby on some children-related issues because they did not meet those tests.“In the absence of persuasive evidence that the imposition of sales tax would place otherwise affordable legal services beyond the reach of a significant number of Floridians, I think it is unlikely that the court would conclude that the sales tax issue falls within the presumptively permissible list,” Richard said.He also said the services tax failed to meet the second criteria of the three-part test for additional issues, even though lawyers might have some special expertise on specific tax issues.“[T]he threshold question of whether there should be a tax on legal services is essentially a political and policy question on which lawyers are not ‘especially suited by their training and experience to evaluate and explain the issue,’” he said.In his letter, Richard noted he has been retained by the Florida Senate, which is pushing the constitutional amendment to lower the sales tax rate at the same time expanding it to many services now exempted in state law. Neither the Senate nor the Bar had a problem with Barry giving the Bar an opinion on the issue, he said.A few days after Richard submitted his letter to the Bar, the Senate released a list of possibly taxed services and how much would be raised. At the top of the list was legal services, expected to add more than $300 million annually to state coffers.