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SunTrust Makes Strategic Ownership Investment in Viewpointe and Signs Long-Term Agreement to Utilize Its Image Archiving Services

PRNewswire-FirstCall
ATLANTA
Mar 20, 2002

SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Viewpointe Archive Services, LLC announced today that SunTrust has taken an ownership position in Viewpointe and concurrently signed a long- term agreement to implement the company's check and document image-based archiving technology.

As a result, SunTrust will join Viewpointe's founding partners J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, and International Business Machines (IBM) as an owner in the company. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Implementation of the imaging services, which will include check and document storage and retrieval, will begin immediately and it is anticipated that SunTrust will achieve full operational access of the Viewpointe check archive in mid-2003.

"This technology will provide us an opportunity to further increase the efficiency of our processing and retrieval operations, while providing a valuable, convenient service to our customers," said SunTrust Vice Chairman Ted Hoepner. "Our ownership position in Viewpointe further underscores our commitment to embrace proven, cutting-edge technology to achieve our business, financial and customer-service goals."

John Lettko, CEO of Viewpointe Archive Services, added, "SunTrust is a highly respected financial services leader in the United States and their decision to become a customer as well as a Viewpointe owner is a very strong endorsement of our business model and plans for image exchange. I am happy to welcome SunTrust to our rapidly growing list of customers including: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, First Tennessee and HSBC."

About SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the nation's largest commercial banking organizations. As of December 31, 2001, SunTrust had total assets of $104.7 billion and total deposits of $67.5 billion. The company operates through an extensive distribution network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is http://www.suntrust.com/ .

About Viewpointe Archive Services

Viewpointe was founded in November 2000 by Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. and IBM. The company has offices in Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, Boulder, New York, Atlanta and San Francisco. Viewpointe archives over 1 billion check images each month. More information about Viewpointe and its services is available at http://www.viewpointearchive.com/ .

About Image Technology

Check imaging is the transformation of paper checks into digital images via digital cameras or any other electronic capture devices. Upon capture, check images are stored in Viewpointe's highly secure national image archive, where they can be retrieved in just seconds via the Internet. Bank customers are able to retrieve information about their checks instantaneously -- reducing customer service calls and eliminating the wait for the information. Additionally, banks are also able to significantly reduce check fraud by being able to instantly access checks for handwriting and transaction comparisons. Beyond the basic benefits of imaging, Viewpointe will reduce banks' processing and paper dependency cost.

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SOURCE: SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Contact: Hugh Suhr of SunTrust, +1-404-827-6813, or
Hugh.Suhr@suntrust.com , or Jennifer Lucas of Viewpointe, +1-704-386-5079, or
Jennifer.Lucas@viewpointearchive.com