Bank One rejects outsourcing

A report on outsourcing in the financial services industry would be incomplete without including the news reported by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld online late last November that Bank One Corp. is planning the largest IT employee hiring spree in its history. The Chicago-based bank hopes to speed up and expand internal technology projects in order to move the US$270-billion bank holding company away from outsourcing initiatives.

With files from reporter Kim S. Nash, Mearian reports that Bank One expects that expanding the company’s in-house team will be “more cost-effective” than further outsourcing and will create a greater historical knowledge of Bank One’s IT infrastructure.

A new senior management team at Bank One, which lost US$511 million last year, has been working for nearly two years to improve the company’s financial situation and assimilate the IT systems of several smaller banks that it took over through acquisitions. Part of that effort was an attempt last summer to renegotiate a six-year, US$1.4-billion outsourcing deal signed in September 1998 with AT&T Corp. and IBM Corp., although the outcome of those talks is uncertain.

The so-called Technology One Alliance has cost Bank One more money than originally thought, according to sources inside the company. The agreement also hasn’t meshed well with all the changes the bank has undergone since the contracts with AT&T and IBM were originally signed, they added.