COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis has signed a 10-year contract with the Bank of New York Mellon, seven months after he awarded it as part of a controversial settlement.

Loftis says the contract affecting $40 billion of taxpayers' and retirees' money is an improvement over the state's previous agreements with the bank his office sued in 2011.

Changes include direct payments for holding the state's assets. Previously, the bank waived those fees in return for a 15 percent share of profits from securities lending. Loftis says no bank was willing to continue that arrangement.

The new contract effective Jan. 1 calls for South Carolina to retain 90 percent of its profits but pay custody fees from state and retirees' funds estimated at $2 million annually.

Loftis says that's more transparent.