Bank of the West, a San Francisco, California-based US subsidiary of BNP Paribas, as per recent reports, has announced the move to a hosted version of the banks’ old FIS Systematics platform. The Bank of the West, being a long-standing customer of the mainframe-based core system, has operations spread across 24 states.
Jacob Sorensen, EVP and CIO of the Bank of the West, points out that the increased competitiveness of the banking environment is the sole reason why the bank is going for this shift. “The tools and services that meet the changing needs of our customers are critical,” he says.
Furthermore, the new environment is expected to further improve stability in operations and provide a seamless and easy recovery option.
Walking down the “pathway for the adoption of innovative new technologies” suggests additional capabilities are to be implemented around the core mainframe system. The BNP Paribas US-subsidiary previously added FIS’s Touchpoint to the bank’s front-end customer service.
Earlier in 2003, FIS acquired the Systematics business with the acquisition of Alltel Corporation, which in turn was the purchaser of the original developer of the system, Systematics Inc, in 1990. The Cobol-based system, with roots dating long back to 1970s, was a trusted brand in the higher end US retail banking market, which typically saw heavy customizations at different sites over the years.
Eventually, although there are natural wastages, via bank mergers and closures along with certain replacements, the system still remains intact, embedded in a reasonable number of US banks and a scattering of non-US ones.