Santander IT standardisation ‘on track’ to deliver £180m UK savings

Santander has said its standardised IT platform will deliver £180 million savings in the UK alone, in the next two years.

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Santander has said its standardised IT platform will deliver £180 million savings in the UK in the next two years.

The bank, which owns Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley businesses, has recorded a 30 percent rise in UK profits to £1.2 billion, for the first nine months of the year.

In a statement to investors, Santander said that work was “well underway to remove duplicated back office and support functions across the [UK] business”. All of the businesses are moving to the in-house Partneon system, which uses Microsoft technology running on IBM databases.

The bank said that the migration of Alliance & Leicester’s systems was on schedule for completion in November 2010, moving all of the company’s branches and customers onto Partenon.

Savings will surpass the £65 million target the bank had set itself for the integration.

Integration of the Bradford & Bingley branch and savings business is complete, Santander said. In a statement Santander said B&B is now “fully integrated” onto the platform, a move that “has allowed us to expand the range of products we offer through B&B branches to include current accounts, credit cards and mortgages”.

Observers had anticipated a particular challenge in dealing with the Bradford & Bingley IT systems. In 2008, newspaper the Financial Times blamed B&B’s “hopelessly antiquated” IT, outsourced to IBM, for failing to provide proper visibility of the company.

All of the UK brands will be renamed as Santander next year, and the move to Partenon will allow all of their customers and 1,300 branches to transact on the platform.

Santander told investors it had made “tremendous progress transforming our UK business”, reminding them that the move to Partenon over the last five years – since it acquired Abbey in 2004 – was the “largest banking IT programme seen in the UK”.

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