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03.06.2011

IT cooperation with IBM Austria will further enhance efficiency in back-office activities supporting Bank Austria's customer business

  • Bank Austria cushions additional burdens from the market environment by reducing non-staff expenses
  • Job cuts avoided through cost reductions and efficiency enhancement
  • Two levers are used for reducing costs and enhancing efficiency: IT cooperation with IBM Austria and Europe-wide synergy effects in the banking group
  • Bank Austria transfers some areas of software development, system operations and support to the "IBM Banking Solution Center" established by IBM Austria on 1 June
  • The IBM Banking Solution Center will be Austria's largest independent provider of IT services for banks

The new regulatory environment including Basel III, the deposit guarantee scheme and national levies on banks as well as the general market environment are presenting banks with major challenges. Bank Austria will reduce non-staff expenses to meet these challenges on its own without passing additional burdens on to employees or customers. Targeted reductions of non-staff expenses will enhance efficiency and avoid job cuts.

Cost reduction levers: Europe-wide synergy effects and IT cooperation with IBM
The IT sector and back-office processes for settlement and administrative activities supporting customer business are areas of "bank production" which involve substantial non-staff expenses. Bank Austria therefore uses two key levers to reduce costs and enhance efficiency: first, as a member of UniCredit, a leading European banking group, Bank Austria benefits from Europe-wide synergies and economies of scale. And second, Bank Austria cooperates with IBM Austria by outsourcing operational aspects of software development, system operations and support functions to IBM Austria from 1 June 2011. From that date onwards, 300 out of a total of 900 employees of the IT companies Bank Austria Global Information Services (BAGIS) and the Austrian branch of UniCredit Global Information Services (UGIS) will work for the IBM Banking Solution Center. The strategic IT areas will remain within the bank.
 
Long-term security for high-quality IT jobs
"We are using a window of opportunity through our cooperation with IBM Austria. As a bank, we benefit from the global expertise of a leading provider of IT services while safeguarding high-quality jobs in the long term. This project shows that a company can avoid restructuring costs while offering highly qualified employees attractive long-term career opportunities," says Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria.

"We are a global ICT company and we see this initiative as an excellent opportunity to create value for our customers. We are building on our colleagues' proven competence which matches the worldwide reputation of IBM. The initiative offers attractive long-term career opportunities for our highly qualified IT specialists at a highly renowned IT company located in Vienna," says Massimo Milanta, CEO of UGIS.

The largest provider of IT services for banks in Austria is being created
"The establishment of the IBM Banking Solution Center is a step towards creating a powerful provider of IT services for banks in Austria. We also see big opportunities in the market as the range of services will be attractive to other banks, too. And we are very pleased that Bank Austria is playing a pioneering role in this area," says Tatjana Oppitz, General Manager of IBM Austria. The IBM Banking Solution Center and its highly qualified employees will offer Austrian financial services providers innovative IT services at competitive prices. IBM has already implemented similar models in Germany, Poland and Switzerland. The IBM Banking Solution Center is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM Austria and has its registered office in Vienna. The IT competence centre for financial services will focus on software development, system operations and support. Sensitive customer data will remain in Austria as required by law.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
 Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
 e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

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