Suncorp to complete core banking by mid-2016

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Suncorp to complete core banking by mid-2016
Suncorp Group CEO Patrick Snowball (left) praises the work of Suncorp Business Services CEO Jeff Smith (right).

Projects $270 million cost for overhaul.

Suncorp Bank has committed to completing its $270 million core banking overhaul by June 30, 2016.

Opening its doors to investors today, Suncorp Bank chief executive John Nesbitt said the overhaul - dubbed Project Ignite - will see the bank rationalise its product set by half, decommission 12 legacy systems (from a current pool of 17) and re-engineer 580 processes to remove duplication.

“In two years, we’ll have a new bank,” he promised. “This system is key to our sustainable, profitable growth over the long-term."

Nesbitt said Suncorp expects to spend another $140 million between now and the project’s completion, and to capitalise 80 percent of the total $270 million bill.

Suncorp Bank CIO Matt Pancino said his technology team now had the new core system "in our hot little hands”.

“We have been testing the system for a number of months now. We have a world class capability," he said.

"This core is highly configurable and will enable the bank to deliver products very quickly to market with little involvement from IT. It is very plug n’ play – we can easily build new capabilities as customer needs change.”

Pancino’s team is sequencing application releases until the July 1, 2016 go-live date – starting from the relatively least complex to reduce program risk.

This approach will see unsecured personal loan origination rolled out first, followed by home loans, deposit and payments and business loans.

Pancino said the bank is using many of the technology staff that have helped the Suncorp Group’s larger projects elsewhere. Project managers and technologists have been brought across to Project Ignite from out of Suncorp’s Legacy Simplification Program.

He also name-checked Oracle, Thoughtworks and Wipro as key technology and human resource partners.

Nesbitt said software partner Oracle was “working with us at a fever pitch to get this system working effectively, and quickly," motivated to demonstrate a working product to other potential clients looking to move off ageing systems such as CSC's Hogan.

Suncorp Business Services CEO Jeff Smith told investors he would be worried about “any bank running Hogan systems within three years.”

The core banking system is still used by a select few large retail banks globally, including Wells Fargo and Westpac.

“They are well beyond their maintenance, and wired together in a way that doesn’t allow a bank to do what we’ve set out to achieve.”

Stay tuned for more from Suncorp’s Investor Day...

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