Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it will create a global service bureau for communications between banks on treasury transactions.

The Global SWIFT Service Bureau will provide low-cost handling of messages using the communications protocols of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and will be operated and managed by London-based BankServ.

BankServ awill provide a suite of software, hardware, and integration and transformation services, under a 'white label' agreement. The services will be in addition to treasury banking services that Merrill Lynch already provies. The combination "will enable companies to achieve the benefits of SWIFT connectivity at a substantially lower cost than direct connectivity,'' BankServ and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

The service bureau is designed to serve Fortune 1000 customers.

BofA Merrill has offered SWIFT corporate services to clients since 2003, advising clients on how to use FIN and FileAct, the two most commonly used services on the SWIFT network.