CBA to include BankWest in core banking overhaul

CBA to include BankWest in core banking overhaul

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) says BankWest - which it is acquiring from Britain's Hbos - will be included in the overhaul of its core banking operations.

CBA agreed to acquire the BankWest unit - which operates in Western Australia - from troubled UK bank Hbos for A$2.1 billion.

BankWest will now be part of CBA's four year migration of its core banking operations to the SAP for Banking platform, which was outlined in April.

At the time, the bank said its core banking overhaul will deliver a better customer service platform and simplify IT systems, infrastructure and business services, as well as provide significant operational benefits and cost savings.

CBA says integration costs for the acquisition, including technology, will come to A$330 million. But in the longer term a merged technology platform with BankWest will contribute to "substantial" cost synergies, says CBA.

The acquisition will add 366 ATMS to CBA's network of 275 in Western Australia, as well as 100 branches and 28 business banking centres.

Hbos is selling BankWest just a year after disclosing plans to invest £160 million in expanding its operations, including the opening of 160 new branches on the more densely populated east coast of the country.

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