IBM wins Bank Urquijo outsourcing deal; launches branch banking package

IBM wins Bank Urquijo outsourcing deal; launches branch banking package

Spain's Bank Urquijo has signed a 10 year outsourcing contract with IBM for the supply of back office processing services.

Bank Urquijo says it expects to achieve productivity improvements of more than 30% as a result of the business transformation outsourcing (BTO) agreement with IBM Business Consulting Services.

Under the contract, IBM will provide the bank with a range of business processes including Internet services, currency management, funds administration, credit management, treasury, branch/affiliate administration, buildings management and other services.

IBM says it will develop a Centre of Financial Excellence in Spain to provide business transformation outsourcing services initially to Bank Urquijo but also to other financial services firms in the future.

The centre will also allow for ongoing research and innovation in banking process areas. Initially more than 70 staff are expected to work at the centre.

Separately, IBM is launching a package of software and services designed specifically for retail banks that are seeking to renew branch infrastructures.

IBM says its Branch Transformation portfolio is aimed at banks that are wanting to upgrade branches within an integrated multi-channel system.

The package includes Linux-based software, hardware, consulting and systems integration services. The vendor is partnering with Cisco, Intel, Siebel, Chordiant, Eontec, Isban, Uniquare and others for the intiative.

IBM claims the current approach to branch technology - where applications are connected to a central host system for transaction processing, data access and system management - has been expensive to deploy, costly to manage and has created information silos not always available across all delivery channels, such as the Internet.

Juan Pi Llorens, vice president, financial services sector, IBM EMEA, says renewing the branch infrastructure is critical for retail banks that are looking to remain competitive and reduce costs.

IBM says the new package will help transform branches into vital channels for acquiring customers, improving service and maximising customer profitability - all while ensuring consistency of customer experience across all channels.

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