ANZ CIO Scott Collary

ANZ CIO Scott Collary

The CIO of Australia and New Zealand-based banking group, ANZ, says there are no plans to replace its CSC Hogan core banking system, despite the raft of revamps at rival banks.

ANZ uses Hogan in Australia and CIO Scott Collary says it is “not a hindrance”. Hogan is now by and large in maintenance mode only, although CSC introduced a new “wrapper” for the ageing core – known as Celeriti – back in 2010. ANZ’s local rival Westpac embarked on the Celeriti upgrade around the same time, but the results are yet to be unveiled.

“The core bank platform and the product processors aren’t holding us back from doing anything,” Collary states. “There’s no compelling business case.”

The Hogan system has had its issues. Last year, Westpac-owned St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA suffered an internet banking outage.

When the systems went live a major data corruption was discovered in the mainframe database, forcing Westpac to shut their services down for most of the day as they investigated.

At the time, the Hogan system could have caused the irrecoverable loss of the transactional data of thousands of customers.

Elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) completed a five-year $1-billion core system upgrade to a SAP-based platform. Not to be outdone, National Australia Bank (NAB) started its NextGen initiative with Oracle FSS in 2007. NAB is rolling out Oracle FSS’s new offering, Oracle Banking Platform (OBP).

Another long-standing Hogan user in Australia, Suncorp, is on the replacement path too, and will also be using OBP instead of Hogan when the project is completed.

Despite all these changes, Collary says: “The only reason you would really change your core was if it was end of life from the vendor and you couldn’t get support any more; you couldn’t find people to work on it; it wouldn’t scale to the volumes that you needed or you couldn’t use it to integrate the rest of the platform and it would slow you down from rolling out new innovation.”

He adds: “We don’t have that situation.”

We carry on

While ANZ is happy with Hogan’s run, it has been innovative elsewhere.

Recently, it trialled a shared ledger in the reconciliation of international payments with an unnamed US bank. ANZ says it is not strictly using blockchain but the shared ledger will act in a similar way. Its objective is to reconcile cross-border payments between counterparties in real time.

On top of all this, Collary says: “We’re launching Apple Pay, we’re doing new payments platform, we’re doing all this great, cool, innovative stuff and it doesn’t factor, the core, at all frankly.”

ANZ also recently signed a new five-year deal worth AU$450 million ($315 million) with IBM. The deal covers a wide range of projects and capabilities, including setting up an innovation lab and introducing common digital banking platforms across ANZ’s worldwide network.

ANZ and tech

Like any large multinational, ANZ relies on numerous software and solutions providers for its technology needs. These include:

  • SAP’s Omnichannel Digital Platform (the product stems from Sybase 360) for online banking in Australia and New Zealand;
  • SAP’s Omnichannel Digital Platform for mobile banking activity across ANZ’s non-domestic operations in Asia, covering retail, commercial and SME businesses;
  • Infosys’ Finacle, rolled out across its international network for core banking capabilities;
  • Misys’ LoanIQ for syndicated lending;
  • FIS’ Systematics core banking system for the group’s New Zealand subsidiaries, ANZ New Zealand and National Bank;
  • Bottomline Technologies’ software for mobile cash management;
  • Gresham’s Clareti Transaction Control (CTC) for financial data capture and reconciliation (and in doing so, it became the first live user of CTC);
  • D+H/Fundtech’s Global Cashplus (GCP) cash management system for its Asia Pacific operations;
  • D+H/Fundtech’s PayPlus payments platform for low-volume, high-value payments;
  • CGI/Logica’s LAPS payments platform for low-value, high-volume payments;
  • CGI’s Trade360 trade finance platform, supplied on a hosted basis, for ANZ’s trade finance business worldwide.