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Lloyds Banking Group lines up huge HBOS system switch

Testing in final stages ahead of key merger move

Lloyds Banking Group is testing systems ahead of a major migration of Halifax and Bank of Scotland (HBOS) accounts onto its own platforms.

The company, forty percent owned by the taxpayer since the economic crisis, revealed today that it was in "the final stages" of testing. The migration is targeted for the autumn.

As the company plunged into a £3.3 billion loss on the back of huge costs for missold PPI insurance, it said it had hit £1.75 billion in savings from its 2009 merger with HBOS, and was on track to hit its £2 billion final target by the end of the year. Much of the savings come from technology as well as extensive redundancies.

"A key final step to completing the [merger] programme is the migration of HBOS retail and commercial customer accounts to the Lloyds TSB IT platform," it told investors.

"The completion of integration moves the group to a single platform which is a key enabler for many of the transformational initiatives announced as part of the Strategic Review at the end of June 2011."

That review aims to create a "simpler, more agile and responsive organisation", including through cutting legacy applications and automating processes.

Lloyds said that in the first half of the year it had completed a programme to move Bank of Scotland cash machines on to the Lloyds TSB platform, rolled out an integrated Mortgage Sales Platform to Cheltenham & Gloucester, and created a single claims management system within its general insurance business.

In May, Lloyds announced plans to reduce the number of its suppliers by more than 7,000, alongside steps to cut 15,000 back office and middle management jobs. Its IT suppliers include SAP, VMware, Oracle, Microsoft and Unisys.

In the half year, Lloyds spent £642 million on the integration, taking total expenditure to £3.4 billion.

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