ANZ bites the bullet on Asian platforms

ANZ bites the bullet on Asian platforms

The bank expects a new core banking system in its Asian operations will help it to refine its strategy for replacing ageing transactional platforms across the group.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is to roll out a new core banking system in its Asian operations that the bank expects will help it to refine its strategy for replacing ageing transactional platforms across the group. ANZ's chief information officer, Peter Dalton, and chief technology officer Nick Dean, confirmed that the bank would install Infosys's Finacle technology in its Asian businesses, starting with Laos this year.

They noted that the company believed there was still a lot of life left in its Australian core platforms and said there were no plans to replace that technology in the near future.

"ANZ is implementing Infosys's Finacle core banking system across its Asia operations over the next three years," Mr Dean said. "The platform will help us to attract new customers in Asia and give us capability to offer customers new services and products, and compete in our priority segments and geographics."

He said a rollout to Indonesia was also due to begin this year, followed by other countries in Asia.

In a hint of the plans ANZ might hold for its operations in Australia, the two executives said the Finacle rollout in Asia was "a foundation for our common systems suite across the bank".

It has already upgraded its Australian internet banking facilities using a Finacle platform. Mr Dalton said the technology was well situated to become a common replacement for core systems across the group.

However, he also indicated that the bank was in no rush to tear out its old Australian transactional platforms, and said the Asian Finacle rollout would help to refine the product.

"We will actively work with Infosys to define the ANZ target systems architecture and enhance their product architecture and functional capabilities accordingly, with a view to introducing the new solutions more broadly when the capabilities mature," Mr Dalton said.

Like Westpac and a number of other banks, ANZ is disentangling the mass of software systems that have grown up around core banking platforms over the past 20 years.

The approach, known as hollowing out, is designed to make it easier to remove the transactional systems that drive banking processes when they reach the end of their life.

Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank have not issued timetables or budgets for the replacement of their Australian core systems but are likely to come under pressure to do so after Commonwealth Bank of Australia unveiled a core banking modernisation program last month.

CBA will spend $580 million over three years to install a new SAP core system in a project it believes will enable it to steal a march on its rivals and move to real-time transaction processing.

St George Bank indicated in its half-year results announcement on Tuesday that it was happy with its existing transactional systems and did not plan to replace them in the immediate future.


· The group is to install the Infosys Finacle core banking system in its Asian arms over three years.

· In a hint of its Australian plans, it says the rollout is "a foundation" for its systems across the bank.

Fairfax Business Media

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