UK's state-owned bank launches hunt for core systems worth close to $1b

Go on, spoil yourself: NS&I to splurge on IT as Atos deal hits twilight years

UK state-owned bank National Savings & Investments (NS&I) is looking for IT suppliers to help overhaul its customer and banking systems in a procurement that could be worth £756.1 million ($938 million).

The deal comes hot on the heels of a £172 million ($215 million) procurement launched in February.

NS&I is an executive agency of the UK's finance ministry, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a longstanding customer of Atos, which provides core IT services via a contract scheduled to end in 2024.

The new procurement is split into two lots. The first could be worth up to £275.8 million ($345 million) and aims to "deliver and integrate front-office (contact centre) services to support digital self-service transactions, requests, queries and complaints, through webchat, messaging and telephony," the tender notice said.

The agreement, which is set to be in place for five or six years, will extend beyond IT services, though. "The supplier shall also deliver back-office services to manage and process non-digital customer interactions through telephony and post, and support vulnerable and digitally excluded customers," the notice said.

The bank has approved spending of £208 million ($260 million) to deliver the core requirements for this service, while an additional allowance for potential B2B services - which may be delivered using the same capabilities - could reach £67.8 million ($85 million), depending on additional approvals.

The second lot of the procurement is worth £480.3 million ($601 million) and will address core banking services and systems of record. They will include customer accounts and account lifecycle management. It is also set to address payment verification and transaction processing, interest calculations and capitalization, statement generation, and account and customer management information and reporting.

The core banking deal will see a two-year implementation period, followed by a seven-year initial operational term, with a possible two-year extension.

In February, the NS&I launched a procurement worth up to £172 million ($215 million) for an IT services company to "deliver digital self-service experiences and journeys to NS&I's retail banking customers, and to enable Assisted Digital support. It will deliver these services to a mobile app, website and voice assistant channels," according to a tender notice.

The NS&I signed the current agreement with Atos in 2014, and extended the contract in 2019 for £305m ($381 million). The ten-year trading relationship is valued at £1.1 billion (1.38 billion) in total and is due to conclude in 2024. ®

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