Rivals vie for Westpac SA deal

Westpac has invited EDS and Unisys to bid for the tender to manage the bank's Adelaide mortgage processing centre operations, a move which could generate in excess of $1 billion for the successful contender.

EDS (Electronic Data System Services) and Unisys are Westpac's core technology and business processing solution providers.

David Clarke, Westpac's group executive of banking and financial services, said the bidding process would help the bank evaluate the commercial advantages and costs of outsourcing mortgage processing and servicing by an IT company.

The arrangement would not include sales, credit or collections operations, Westpac officials said.

Key to the bidding criteria will be EDS and Unisys' ability to show their potential to "significantly upgrade" technology, as well as move to straight-through processing, enhance customer service and reduce costs, Westpac officials said.

"Partnering with a global technology provider would ensure that the Adelaide centre has access to worldwide infrastructure and research and development capabilities that could assist us to exploit the rapidly changing technology environment," Clarke said.

Westpac officials said any ensuing agreement would run for 10 years, under which 1200 mortgage processing staffers would be moved to the chosen outsourcing partner, but would continue to be based at the Adelaide mortgage centre (created in 1996).

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