Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Elavon Acquires Carolina First Bank's Merchant Processing Portfolio

By Holly Lytle New Alliance Opportunities for Elavon and Carolina First Bank

ATLANTA and GREENVILLE, SC - SEPTEMBER 15, 2009 - Elavon, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and a leading global payments provider, has acquired the merchant processing portfolio of Carolina First Bank, the banking subsidiary of The South Financial Group (NASDAQ: TSFG) that operates as Carolina First Bank in the Carolinas and Mercantile Bank in Florida. Offering industry-leading technology and customer support, Elavon will provide its flexible payment processing solutions to Carolina First Bank's merchant customers. In addition, under the terms of the 10 year alliance agreement, Elavon will receive new merchant services referrals marketed through the Bank's 177 banking offices in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida.

"Carolina First has a tradition of delivering high-value solutions to its loyal client base," said Stuart C. Harvey, Jr., CEO of Elavon. "Elavon's technology, scale and customer service will help insure that Carolina First keeps its more than 20-year service tradition strong for its merchant customers."

"Merchant processing is an important product offering for our small business and commercial customers," said Chris Gompper, Executive Vice President - Director of Bank Strategy and Business Segment Performance for The South Financial Group. "Our relationship with Elavon, a company solely focused on merchant services, will enable us to continue delivering robust solutions to our merchant customers with competitive pricing and top quality service delivery."

Customers of Carolina First and Mercantile will benefit from Elavon's expanded merchant service offerings including debit and credit card processing, a comprehensive PCI Compliance Program, a choice of point-of-sale devices and software, advanced e-commerce products, gift card solutions, electronic check services, and enhanced reporting and industry-leading customer service.

About Elavon:
Elavon's Global Acquiring Solutions organization is a part of U.S. Bancorp. Elavon provides end-to-end payment processing services to more than one million merchants in the United States, Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico. Elavon has solutions to meet the needs of merchants in specialized markets including small business, retail, hospitality/T&E, health care, education and the public sector. Visit Elavon online at www.elavon.com.

About TSFG:
The South Financial Group is a bank holding company focused on serving small businesses, middle market companies, and retail customers in the Carolinas and Florida. At June 30, 2009, it had approximately $12.6 billion in total assets and 177 branch offices. TSFG operates Carolina First Bank, which conducts banking operations in North Carolina and South Carolina (as Carolina First Bank), in Florida (as Mercantile Bank), and on the Internet (as Bank CaroLine). At June 30, 2009, approximately 46% of TSFG's total customer deposits were in South Carolina, 42% were in Florida, and 12% were in North Carolina. Investor information is available at www.thesouthgroup.com.

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