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Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) is planning to combine all back office activities within a separate company. Preparations for this step are under way. Last year the bank concentrated back office functions in the Vienna area within a separate department. The reorganisation process in the other Austrian regions will be completed by the end of 2006. In autumn this year the bank will establish a separate company to which processing activities will be transferred step by step. The new company – a decision on its name has not yet been made – will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt and will have some 1,600 employees. The company will be located at BA-CA’s Technical Centre in Vienna.

The objective of this measure is to relieve employees at BA-CA branches of settlement work. “We aim to fully concentrate on customer business in the branches, and on back-office activities in the company to be newly established,” says Wolfgang Haller, deputy chairman of BA-CA’s managing board, who is responsible for IT/organisation.

The reorganisation will be completed by the end of 2006. From 2006 onwards, the bank expects cost savings to reach up to €
50mn annually. Synergies will be unlocked primarily through process optimisation. Says Haller: “We provide special training to employees for their tasks as top account managers or as specialists in back-office activities. Through a higher degree of specialisation we will enhance efficiency on both sides.” 

With this move Bank Austria Creditanstalt is pioneering developments in the area of banking operations in Austria, claims the bank. The pilot project in Vienna is beginning to pay off: “Shorter process chains and higher process quality significantly enhance settlement efficiency. Account managers can thus fully concentrate on advising their customers,” says Haller.

The company which the bank intends to establish will concentrate on back office activities relating to accounts and loans (opening, change and ordering procedures) for retail and corporate customers. Adds Haller: “The company will act as a provider of ‘bespoke tailoring and alterations’ for the large BA-CA boutique selling products and advisory services. Branches will concentrate on advising customers and taking their measurements. The company specialising in back-office procedures will provide made-to-measure products tailored to the customer’s needs.”