Bank of Canada outsources back office

EDS Canada is taking its latest agreement to the bank.

The Toronto-headquartered IT services company will provide all business operations surrounding the sale, customer service and redemption of savings bonds for the Bank of Canada starting Sept. 1. The contract is for nine-and-a-half years and is valued at $400 million.

According to Dale Fleck, assistant director business development services at Bank of Canada, EDS will be managing the back office that supports the government of Canada’s retail debt program. (The retail debt is the portion of the government’s debt issued domestically held by individuals.) The Bank of Canada remains responsible for customer service, bondholder records and debt accounting.

Fleck says he expects to see cost savings in the 30 per-cent range over the life of the agreement, thanks in part to the freedom it offers.

“EDS will be able to utilize and leverage the technology that supports these systems outside of the retail debt program potentially for other businesses where the Bank could not,” says Fleck.

“The Bank of Canada is restricted in the Bank of Canada Act in terms of the types of businesses it does, whereas EDS is not restricted. It’ll be able hopefully to use some of the capacity these systems have and leverage them to reduce the overall cost of the program.”

Fleck says he expects EDS to bring expertise that it may have lacked, resulting in further cost reductions and streamlining business processes.

Michael Mansfield, EDS Canada executive vice-president of business process management, says it will support the life cycle (sale, registry and redemption) of Canada Savings Bonds, as well the desktop tools used by employees.

Dave Kropla, EDS Canada vice-president of business process management in the national capital region, says he isn’t daunted by the task of managing the two large mainframe systems, though there is a challenge.

“EDS does a lot of work for financial institutions worldwide,” he says. “I think what differentiates the Bank is the requirement for reliability and robustness and the systems to always be there.

“I think it’s a good, stable, well thought-out infrastructure that they’ve got there today and we’re going to take that and leverage it and build from it,” adds Mansfield.

EDS will get some help for the task in the form of about 500 Bank employees who will join EDS. About 55 postions were eliminated.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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