Santander to seek £65 million IT savings in A&L takeover

Santander to seek £65 million IT savings in A&L takeover

Spain's Banco Santander expects to save £180 million a year from cutting jobs and centralising IT systems as it merges the UK's Abbey with newly-acquired high street rival Alliance & Leicester.

Banco Santander this morning announced plans to buy British lender Alliance and Leicester in an all-share deal worth £1.26 billion.

In a presentation to analysts, the Spanish bank says it expects to make £65 million savings from IT initiatives, £30 million from 'efficiency best practices', £25 million from operational improvements, and £35 million from central office and support service rationalisation.

Santander will follow the model employed during its acquisition of Abbey, when it moved the UK bank's operations onto its own Microsoft-based Partenon banking platform.

The agreement could have far-reaching implications for A&L's key technology supplier Accenture. Alliance & Leicester is currently mid-way through a three-year project to move its legacy core retail and commercial banking systems to Accenture's Alnova technology platform.

Staff at the bank may also have reason to fear for job security, as Santander looks to remove duplication in the back office and on the high street. Since taking over Abbey in 2004, Santander has cut staff numbers by almost a third to around 16,000.

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