Co-op Bank plans IT investment to 'fix fundamentals' of troubled business

The Co-operative Bank plans to invest in IT systems to improve customer experience, with technology playing a key role in reversing the troubled lender’s fortunes.

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The Co-operative Bank is planning investment in IT systems to improve customer experience, with technology playing a key role in reversing the troubled lender’s fortunes.

The Co-op Bank revealed a £1.3 billion loss in its full year financial results today, including an expected £148 million write-down for IT costs following the cancellation of a project to install a Finacle core banking system.

The bank said that investing in IT to improve customer-facing systems will be "strategic priority" for the business, as its aims to regain consumer trust following a disastrous year.

“Fixing the fundamentals means investing in IT systems that deliver branch based and digital banking in a way that meets our customers’ expectations,” the bank said. “Behind the scenes we are improving and consolidating the systems that support our products and operations making them more resilient, faster and more efficient.”

Last November, the bank released its ‘Recapitalisation Plan’, highlighting a £500 million investment in "IT remediation, digital catch-up and other IT initiatives" over the next three years.

However, the bank said that “there are still major hurdles ahead to overcome” with regards to improving to systems and processes.

In today's results announcement, the Co-op Bank also highlighted the challenges involved in separating its operations from the Co-operative Group, which resulted in “higher than expected” costs of £39 million being incurred.

Having begun to transfer certain functions between 2011 and 2013, the Co-op Bank continues to depend on the Co-op Group for a number of services, such as IT, personnel and assets.

While most of staff have now been transferred from the Co-op Group, some key assets, including transfer of IT, are still under negotiation.

“The separation project is much more complex and costly than initially contemplated,” the bank said.

Earlier this week it was announced that CIO Peter Coleman, who had been heavily involved in  last year's "Liability Management Exercise", would be leaving the firm at the end of the month, having been at the firm since 2012.

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