UK banks see need to improve core systems

UK banks are becoming increasingly frustrated by their core banking systems and plan to overhaul them in order to stay competitive, according to a study of the sector jointly sponsored by Accenture and SAP.

UK banks are becoming increasingly frustrated by their core banking systems and plan to overhaul them in order to stay competitive, according to a study of the sector jointly sponsored by Accenture and SAP.

The UK findings, which closely mirror the situation internationally, have revealed that many banks are being held back by legacy systems that are overly complex and insufficiently flexible. The cost of running existing systems and their vulnerability to processing error were among other widely voiced concerns.

Inefficient legacy systems mean UK banking staff spend only just over half of their time with customers and the remainder on back-office processing tasks. Poorly integrated systems also mean that customer data is not always fully accessible to banking staff to enable them to identify prospective sales opportunities.

Stuart Taylor, a banking partner in Accenture’s financial services practice, said, “UK banks need a new edge to beat the competition. A core banking system that enables new propositions to go to market rapidly, supports overall operational cost efficiency, and enables the bank to deliver a fully integrated service to customers will go a long way.”

The survey also found that UK banks experience a fifth more unnecessary delays in processing customer requests than their European counterparts – 58% of UK staff had encountered problems, against 49% in Europe.

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