The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has completed one of the largest ever banking IT integration projects, following the acquisition of NatWest less than three years ago.
The bank's IT staff have been praised by its chief executive for completing the migration of the NatWest systems onto the RBS platform ahead of schedule.
"The undoubted highlight for 2002 was the completion of the NatWest IT integration, one of the largest integration projects ever undertaken worldwide," said Fred Goodwin, group chief executive at RBS, in the company's annual report.
"This was a challenge which many doubted we could achieve but, thanks to the sheer hard work and determination of our staff, we not only met but beat the tough targets we had set."
Integration was completed four months ahead of schedule at the end of October last year. IT staff involved received a bonus payment of five per cent of their salary.
The bank's annual report revealed the huge scale of the project to integrate the two systems. NatWest's 446 IT systems - three times that of RBS' - were migrated to an IBM-based platform.
The programme ran for 30 months and involved more than 4,000 staff, the bank said.
RBS announced a 12 per cent increase in profits this week to £6.4bn, and claimed that the IT integration had contributed to cost savings of £1.44bn and revenue benefits of £590m since the NatWest takeover.
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