Australia's Westpac says it will spend A$338 million on information technology-related expenditure as it begins a four-year programme to integrate its operations with St George Bank.
In a briefing to analysts, Westpac raised its estimate of integration savings from combining its operations with those of its former rival by 10% to $400 million.
The bank has set an end-March 2009 deadline for completing its strategy for IT integration, with a view to commencing the programme in September next year. The merger of the two banks' technology systems will be overseen by ex-Commbank CIO Bob McKinnon.
The early focus of the strategy will be on the integration of finance, risk, treasury and HR systems and will include an assessment of the opportunities for data centre consolidation, says the bank's chief transformation officer Brad Cooper.
The IT bill will be supplemented by a $168 million outlay on restructuring and outsourcing. The bank currently has a ten-year IT services deal with IBM, which is due to expire in 2010.