Australia and New Zealand Bank has scrapped an ambitious project to deploy Microsoft Windows software for ATM and POS transactions and has set up a technology risk management committee to scrutinise large computer projects.
The bank says the new risk management function has been established "to provide additional focus on large and high-risk technology projects".
The move comes as the Australian bank looks to strengthen its approach to operational risk in the run-up to its merger with the National Bank of New Zealand.
It follows the appointment in September of Mike Grime from Standard Chartered as managing director, operations, technology and shared services. Local press reports say Grime decided to axe to the bank's 'Next Generation Switching/Tandem' replacement project because of NBNZ integration issues.
In its interim results statement, ANZ says it has written off a total AU$30 million in capitalised software on the project "as it became apparent that expected benefits would not materialise".
The move is a big blow to Microsoft. ANZ's decision to replace its Tandem mainframe with an S2-supplied SQL Server/Windows 2000 system was hailed as a major breakthrough for Microsoft in the mission-critical transaction processing space when first announced in August 2001. At the time, ANZ said high support and maintenance costs in the existing proprietary system, coupled with a need to enhance development lead times, compelled it to seek a replacement solution.