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STAMFORD, CT-The United Kingdom’s sixth largest banking group–Abbey National Treasury Services PLC–plans to open its first branch office in the United States Monday at 400 Atlantic St.

The company will operate out of 17,580 sf of space on the second floor of 400 Atlantic St., the former Champion building. The lease was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut, which represented Abbey National Treasury Services and the building owner The Landis Group in the long term lease transaction. Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut’s Steven Baker and Louis D’Avanzo of the firm’s downtown New York City office worked on the deal.

Abbey National Treasury Services reports it has been granted a license by the State of Connecticut Department of Banking and the Federal Reserve Board to open the Stamford branch. In addition, its US securities broker dealer subsidiary, Abbey National Securities Inc., has become a registered broker dealer in the United States and a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. Abbey National Securities will be operational in the fourth quarter of this year and will also be housed at 400 Atlantic St. The company expects to have between 30 to 50 employees at its Stamford office when it is fully operational.

“We are going ahead as planned with our new U.S. operations, demonstrating our confidence in the U.S. financial community and support for our friends there following the terrible events in New York and Washington,” says D. Gareth Jones, chief executive of Abbey National Treasury Services PLC. “Over the last two years we have assembled a strong team of experienced Abbey National people and knowledgeable new hires from the U.S. financial services industry to form a group squarely focused on building relationships and writing more business.”

The lease, which was signed earlier this year but not announced due to the company’s application with the NASD, according to Baker of Cushman & Wakefield, is the second major lease deal reported in recent weeks at the former Champion Building. The 400 Atlantic St., property, which stands 15-stories high and totals approximately 440,000 sf, secured American Express for 175,000 sf of space earlier this month. The credit card giant signed the deal at the building, which is also home to the corporate headquarters of International Paper, as part of a program to relocate its New York City operations due to the damage caused to its headquarters space at the World Financial Center.

Abbey National Treasury Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbey National PLC–the sixth largest banking group in the United Kingdom. The company’s U.S. operations in Stamford will initially focus on debt securities and the international money markets. The company has raised wholesale funds in the United States for more than a decade and has a substantial balance sheet, including more than $50 billion of U.S. assets as of June 30, 2001, company officials say.

The company maintains that establishing a regional office in the United States in Stamford will enable it to be closer to current and prospective clients.

Through its securities broker subsidiary, Abbey National Treasury Services will gain access to a broader range of customers, complementing the activities of the company’s ‘ UK broker dealer subsidiary, Cater Allen International Limited, company officials maintain.

The U.S. brokerage office in Stamford will deal solely with institutional clients, including, but not limited to: banks, trust banks, insurance companies, money managers, corporates, pension funds (including ERISA funds), and government agencies. The Stamford branch office’s initial financing activities will focus on the securities lending and repurchase markets where it will engage in financing a broad range of domestic and international securities, Abbey National Treasury Services officials say.

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