Suncorp's 'Ignite' delivers results for bank

Suncorp's 'Ignite' delivers results for bank

Shift to new core banking platform due to be completed next year

Suncorp Bank's move to a new core banking system is already bearing fruit, according to CEO John Nesbitt.

Project Ignite is on track for completion by June 2016, Nesbitt told a presentation for investors today.

Project Ignite will reduce the bank's cost-to-income ratio from 53 per cent to under 50 per cent in the 2017 financial year, according to Suncorp.

Project Ignite is a "key enabler" for Suncorp Bank, Nesbitt said in remarks prepared for today's presentation.

"Ignite is the key piece of infrastructure required to build the base of the bank’s optimised platform by 2017," Nesbitt said.

Suncorp Group CEO Patrick Snowball spoke earlier today about Suncorp's journey to a cloud- and data-driven "optimised platform" — a process due for completion by June 2017.

Ignite "is delivering the backbone on which exceptional customer experiences are being built," Nesbitt said.

The Oracle-based core banking platform is API-enabled, allowing different app-based end points for interacting with the bank to be delivered to customers, partners and industry.

"We're building a seamless experience for customers through true integration with mobile apps and external systems," Nesbitt said.

The project involves decommissioning 12 legacy systems and the re-engineering of 580 business processes.

Project Ignite has involved a graduated shift to the new platform for the bank.

"We started with the low risk processes and portfolios to enhance our learning for the more complex phases," Nesbitt said.

"We've gradually moved to the more complex, as determined by size, scope, customer and employee impact."

A new CRM system was the first stage.

"This has been successfully operating across the bank for around two years," the bank CEO said.

"This CRM gives us the 360 degree view of our customers and provides the foundation data which allows us to manage customer interactions."

The second stage was shifting personal loans on to the platform, which took place in November.

"This was a critical first step for the platform as this low risk part of our business allowed us to successfully test over two thirds of the systems across the bank," Nesbitt said.

"The staggered deployment of this release ensured controlled rollout and supported system functionality. It was a low risk approach, providing lots of learning and validation. We released a pilot program to a contained group of staff. This allowed us to test the functionality of the release, and ensure business readiness success.

"The success of the program can also be credited to the change champions across the bank who have embraced the new system. They have been instrumental in the trialling, feedback, endorsement and championing of Ignite. This is a big piece of change but a welcome one for our people."

More than 3500 personal loan applications have been processed on the platform, the CEO said.

"We are now settling loans same day. This is a significant change from the pre‐Ignite world. Previously there were multiple touch points across our business in the approval and fulfilment of a personal loan. This took three to five days due to multiple handoffs. It was not a great customer experience.

"We can now process personal loans, in some cases, in under 20 minutes with better risk controls."

Nesbitt said that the next Project Ignite milestone will be in June with the implementation of new hardware and the release of a new version of the software.

"This will be followed by a series of implementations that will allow new home loans to be written on the platform from September 2015," he added.

"Term deposits and transactions account functionality will be available for new business early in calendar 2016. Once the upgrade to version 2.4 of the software is completed early next year, legacy system conversion will take place."

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