NAB slashes technology outages

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NAB slashes technology outages

But profit falls on poor British performance.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has reported a 28 percent drop in technology outages in the past year, as a result of a large-scale technology makeover that commenced more than three years ago.

The bank today said it was progressing well on the multi-year transformation program, which aimed to improve IT infrastructure and deliver a “next-generation” core banking platform.

NAB reported a $4.1 billion profit for the 12 months to 30 September, down 22 percent from the year prior due to a $793 million increase in costs in its British business.

Chief executive officer Cameron Clyne told investors that the bank had kept a firm grip on cost management “without sacrificing investment in technology transformation”.

“Short term decisions in the past have gotten banks into the position of having to deal with multiple technology issues,” he noted.

“Delivering on the tech agenda is critical if we are to be a competitive force in banking and continue to deliver the best products and services to our customers.”

NAB reported investing a total of $610 million on infrastructure in the 2011-12 financial year, of which a bulk was spent on its next-generation platform, IT upgrades and the refurbishment of stores in Australia and New Zealand.

The next-generation platform – built on a new Oracle software suite – accounted for an additional $203 million in software spend over the year; in line with $205 million of next-generation software costs reported the previous year.

Clyne said NAB had met its technology transformation milestones for the year, highlighting its migration of some 300,000 UBank customers to the Oracle platform, launch of the nabtrade online trading platform and consolidation of nine contact centre platforms onto a single system.

NAB reported that “key investments in reducing operational risk, including improvements in the robustness of NAB’s overnight processing activities and IT security” had improved its service delivery.

A NAB spokesman would not disclose the number of outages it had experienced in the past year.

The bank told investors that efforts to establish a private cloud, consolidate data centres and upgrade office tools, e-mail and end-user computers were also in progress.

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