Zurich banks on saving with modular systems


Zurich banks on saving with modular systems

Arif Mohamed

The banking arm of Zurich Financial Services Group is in the process of replacing its core legacy banking systems with a modular software system.

The Zurich Banking business unit said it hoped to reduce its costs considerably by improving the efficiency of its processes, cutting duplication and using straight-through-processing - handling stock transactions electronically from beginning to end without manual intervention.

The company will complete the migration this September, said Patrick Lindley, head of operations at Zurich Banking. It began the project in February 2005.

The company is adopting Infosys Technologies' Finacle across three banking brands - Zurich Bank, Dunbar Bank and Zurich Bank International - in the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The modular system includes core banking, wealth management, and consumer and corporate e-banking elements, as well as mobile banking, alerts and web-based management. It also offers the ability to define and track service level agreements.

Lindley said the main issue for Zurich Banking would be to ensure that Finacle's specification meets its current and future business, accounting and regulatory needs.

"Having a more flexible system that can better integrate with our accounting systems will allow us to develop our client propositions and maximise our efficiency," he said.

Parent company Zurich Financial Services Group outsources most of its technology systems to CSC, IBM and Equant. However, in July 2004, CIO Michael ­Paravicini said the company would retain control of its business-critical systems in-house.

Zurich Banking is running Clustered Sun V490 servers running Solaris 9 with an Oracle 9i database.

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