Commerzbank is talking to IBM about outsourcing back office IT systems within its investment banking operations.
The bank, Germany's fourth-largest, has set itself a target of cutting costs to below EUR5 billion in 2003 and removing 7000 jobs from its total workforce of 37,000.
Any deal would need to be in place before the end of the year if the bank is to meet its targets, says a spokesman, who confirmed discussions with IBM and other un-named vendors.
News of the talks follows an upsurge of interst in European bank IT outsourcing in recent months. IBM recently struck a EUR2.5 billion deal to run the European computer operations of Deutsche Bank, while ABN Amro awarded EDS a EUR1.3 billion contract to run its wholesale back office.