Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest bank, has agreed to outsource two internal business processes to Accenture Ltd. as part of its ambitious program to cut costs and increase efficiency by moving non-core operations to external service providers.

Under the service agreement announced Thursday, Deutsche Bank will outsource its worldwide corporate purchasing and accounts payable services to Accenture. The global consultancy and software development group, located in Hamilton, Bermuda, will provide IT systems and tools to manage the bank’s entire procurement-to-payment process.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank will retain responsibility for selecting and maintaining relationships with suppliers, and for approving purchases and payments.

Financial details were not disclosed.

This is the latest of several outsourcing deals that Deutsche Bank has signed as it responds to one of the largest economic crises in the German banking sector by focusing on its core banking competencies.

In December 2002, the bank signed a US$2.5 billion, 10-year contract, with IBM Corp. The contract — the largest ever with a German bank — includes the consolidation of data centres in eight European countries and should save the bank around US$1 billion in annual operating costs.

Speaking Wednesday at an IT conference in Neuss, Germany, Deutsche Bank chief technology officer Clemens Jochum said the bank is satisfied with the results so far of its one-year outsourcing deal with Big Blue and is studying opportunities to expand the partnership.

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