Deutsche Bank is in exclusive negotiations with IBM to outsource the operation of its computer centres in continental Europe.
The bank says that extensive preliminary investigations have shown that "considerable cost savings" will be realised via outsourcing. In addition, Deutsche says it expects increased flexibility in the use of resources and a standardisation of global IT processes.
"By outsourcing the European IT infrastucture our efficiency will be further increased. In particular, Deutsche Bank will be able to implement the transition to new technologies more rapidly," says Hermann-Josef Lamberti, Deutsche Bank's chief operating officer. "I expect better career opportunities for IT staff than we are able to offer them within a bank."
All employees working in the area to be outsourced will be taken on by IBM. Deutsche Bank has been looking for some time at ways to reduce its IT costs, including merging back office and admin operations with other banks. The bank recently suffered a series of strikes by IT staff protesting at staff cuts and wage ceilings.
Deutsche Bank expects operational responsibility to be handed over in the first quarter of 2003. This will comprise the outsourcing of the infrastructure (computer centres and smaller server sites) including around 900 employees in Continental Europe. IBM intends to create a European computer centre in the Rhine-Main area, the services of which shall also be offered to other companies.
The value of the contract has not been disclosed. News of the deal comes as banks around the world take a closer look at the outsourcing of IT operations. Last month ABN Amro confirmed that it was in exclusive negotiations with EDS to outsource its wholesale IT in a €1.5 billion contract entailing the transfer of around 1000 staff.
Deutsche Bank says further investigation into the outsourcing of networks will be conducted separately on a global scale.