In the 2010/11 financial year NAB endured a computer crash which lasted for several days. Customer accounts were not updated, payments were unavailable and the bank’s website ground to a halt. The bank was plunged into a public relations nightmare, and forced to take out full page advertisements in national newspapers to explain the situation to customers.
In the report issued with its 2011/12 financial results today the bank said that it had made significant progress with its technology transformation programme. It also revealed that it had cut the number of major computer crashes by 28 per cent which had reduced” the effect of service outages to customers.”
While the bank posted a 22 per cent drop in profits, largely as the result of poor performance in the UK, chief executive Cameron Clyne said that the bank was “very pleased with the advance of technology” in the bank.
He said that a number of key milestones had been achieved, such as the introduction of a new online trading platform and the migration of 300,000 UBank customers onto the NextGen core banking platform that has been developed in association with Oracle. Nab has also introduced a virtual contact centre to support its operations.
Although the number of computer crashes has already been reduced the broader impact of the NextGen programme can’t be gauged until the next set of results is announced as it was only earlier this month that the Oracle Banking Platform developed by Oracle in association with NAB was finalised. It is this platform which is now being rolled out across the bank.
The bank’s balance sheet reflects that continued investment in software with capitalised software rising to $1.4 billion this year, compared to $1.25 billion last year. Mr Clyne noted that “We don’t capitalise software to the degree of our peers.”
The NAB annual results show that spending on computer equipment and software rose to $524 million this year, compared to $428 million a year ago. Data communications and processing costs have been held pretty steady at $124 million.