Australia’s second-biggest bank Westpac is seeking outsourcing suppliers for contracts worth up to $500 million, with India’s top tech firms Infosys, HCL and others bidding against multinational rivals IBM and HP-EDS.
The bank, which is currently merging its systems with St George Bank, is being advised by a consulting firm on fleshing out an IT transformation programme, aimed at saving over $400 million from operations by 2011.
Australia’s top banks including Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ANZ will invest almost $4 billion on technology this year, according to experts tracking the industry. The country’s IT market is worth around $39 billion, according to research firm Forrester.
“HCL, Infosys and Wipro, apart from IBM, are already in discussions with Westpac for these contracts — offshoring being considered as a critical portion of these engagements,” said a senior executive at one of the top tech firms exploring this opportunity. He requested anonymity because he is not authorised to comment on any potential business.
For Indian vendors, Westpac contract offers an opportunity to gain business from IBM, which is due to renew its contract with the bank next year. While Infosys declined to offer any comments because of its ‘financial silence period’, officials at HCL did not respond to an email query sent by ET on Thursday. Westpac officials, too, did not respond to the ET query.
Westpac, which acquired St George Bank last year for $19 billion, wants to have a common general ledger and consolidate other systems, including payroll. The IT integration costs alone will be around $338 million, apart from an additional $168 million being earmarked towards outsourcing and restructuring.
“Apart from the integration with St George, Westpac is also seeking suppliers for over $250-million application development and maintenance contract,” a consultant said.