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CaixaBank system normal after migration of millions of customer accounts

Spain’s CaixaBank has successfully completed the migration of millions of Bankia customers to its systems

CaixaBank has completed the migration of millions of customers from Bankia to its IT systems after a weekend that saw 10.4PB (petabytes) of customer information moved from the bank it acquired for €4.3bn in December 2020.

The combined bank platform now holds 21 million customer accounts, connects 16,000 servers and can manage 29,000 transactions a second. It also has more than 6,000 branches and in excess of 15,000 ATMs in Spain and Portugal.

Bankia was formed in Spain in 2010 and was partially nationalised by the government in May 2012 when it was in trouble. This year, it merged with CaixaBank. Bankia customers will now operate through CaixaBank online banking.

“The technological integration is a crucial moment in any merger process,” said Luis Javier Blas Agüeros, chief operating officer of CaixaBank. “In this case, we faced one of the biggest operations in the history of the Spanish financial sector, in terms of business volume, amount of data and the complexity of the technological structures. It has been crucial to have managed it quickly, minimising the impact on clients and with all security guarantees.”

Large customer account migrations such as this are not without their risks. Known as “big bang” migrations, any problems can cause reputational damage and result in high costs.

Another Spanish bank, Sabadell, had major problems migrating accounts to a new core banking platform in the UK. In 2018, disaster struck when it was migrating TSB customer accounts, following its acquisition of the UK bank.

While moving the millions of customer accounts from the systems of Lloyds Bank, which had hosted them since TSB was separated from Lloyds, to the Sabadell core banking platform, millions of customers were unable to bank. The problems cost TSB £330m, which included compensating customers, additional resources, fraud and forgone income.

A report into the disaster by city law firm Slaughter and May said the fact that Sabis, the IT services subsidiary of TSB parent Sabadell, was not ready to operate Proteo4UK was partly the cause of the IT meltdown.

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