Anglo splashes out to update IT systems
Published 30/03/2011 | 05:00
ANGLO Irish Bank is spending more taxpayers' money -- this time to update and improve its IT systems even while the company is being wound down.
The nationalised bank is putting a contract out to tender for a "disaster recovery solution" to allow its IT systems to keep transferring money to other banks even if its existing system fails.
It is also going to award another contract for the supply of support services for its credit management system. The cost of both contracts has not been revealed for commercial reasons. Anglo has already cost the taxpayer €29.3bn.
It is understood the bank believes its wind down will take "a number of years" and wants to update its IT systems to allow this to happen.
But Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell has questioned whether the "disaster recovery solution" tender could be justified in view of the plans to wind down the bank. "Looking for new IT services is something that shouldn't be happening in a bank that is being wound down," she said.
The main Anglo contract currently out to tender relates to the SWIFT banking messaging service, which allows banks to carry out money transfers between each other.
Banks can be rendered powerless to make crucial payments if their internet connections and internal systems crash -- so a "disaster recovery" service is crucial.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that the nationalised bank was putting new IT contracts out to tender -- but denied the contracts were for new IT systems.
He said Anglo was looking for systems to maintain its business and provide essential computer maintenance services.
"The maintenance of these existing systems is necessary for the bank to effectively manage its requirements under the restructuring plan currently under consideration by the European Commission," he said.
Anglo said yesterday it did not comment on individual contracts or their value.
The Government is planning to wind down Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, both of which have suffered disastrous losses due to their enormous lending to property developers. The State has already been forced to inject €29.3bn into Anglo to compensate for its massive losses on property loans.