Westpac (ASX: WBC) has hired an additional 1930 staff to work on its technology transformation project.
In a statement to the ASX, Westpac chief executive officer, Gail Kelly, said most of the hires were in technology and product operations, driven by increases in project staff. Some 74 of the staff will work in the investment banking division, while 367 staff were assigned to the financial group.
Kelly said the move is part of a shift from the planning to development stage of its technology agenda.
“This investment, called our strategic investment priorities, comprises 15 programs focused on meeting the needs of our multi-brand group and strengthening our technology infrastructure,” she said.
The programs will address legacy technology issues, transform the group’s technology infrastructure to support a multi-brand platform and support Westpac’s customer focused strategy.
This includes migrating key Westpac products and accounts onto the Westpac Group Hogan system, enabling real-time banking and the decommissioning of up to 19 IT systems.
The migration is set to take place over five years with a forecast project investment of $2 billion. Spending on technology and software accounted for $366 million in the financial year to June 2010.
Westpac also spent $280 million on technology and information services.
The bank is also investing in IT integration with the St George, after the two companies merged on 1 December, 2008. To date the IT, systems and operation merger has cost $254 million.
In May, the bank commenced a rollout of 8000 handsets across the organisation, along with the development of a simplified sales and service platform for retail and business banking. It is also implementing the next generation of its online banking platform and rolling out a single master customer record across the whole group.