Analysis: Coutts separation from RBS could be eased by Avaloq transformation

Matthew Finnegan

The proposed sale of Coutts is one of a number of divestments currently in process at RBS. It is continuing to split systems shared with insurance provider Direct Line, which has warned over the difficulties of transitioning from RBS' IT, and is reported to be spending £300 million on new infrastructure to support the sale of 314 branches to Williams & Glyn's. Plans are also underway to segment part of its operations into a 'bad bank', which business secretary Vince Cable has warned could lead to extensive IT costs.

RBS has now completed the separation of Tesco Bank, but customers experienced problems accessing accounts as the bank switched from RBS systems onto a Fiserv core banking platform.

In order to reduce complexity, the bank is currently undergoing a wide-ranging project to overhaul and simplify its IT estate, including plans to reduce its core banking application estate from 50 down to 10 in the coming years, with the decommissioning of legacy software expected to continue until 2018.

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