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La Caixa banks on huge £1.7bn IBM outsourcing deal

Big Blue has provided IT to the bank for half a century

Spanish bank la Caixa has bucked the trend of companies reducing the length of outsourcing renewals and signed an all-enconmpassing ten year, 2 billion (£1.65 billion) IT outsourcing deal with IBM.

The bank, whose international sprawl includes operations in London's Fleet Street, is using IBM to provide technology, operations, applications and infrastructure services. La Caixa is understood to be Europe's largest savings bank. Unusually, it is privately owned and not-for-profit.

IBM will also manage La Caixa's key data centres in Barcelona, and will also address mobility, social media and cloud computing.

IBM will directly work on about half of the 2 billion euro budget, said the bank, and it will subcontract the rest to third-party service providers.

The bank said it expected to save 400 million over the ten year agreement, while gaining new technology to support business development in both Spain and its global markets.

"Working with one of the most recognised technology leaders in the world is very important to us," said Juan Maria Nin, La Caixa general manager. "This agreement allows us to offer better services to our clients and obtain competitive advantages in a sector where innovation and new technologies are key to realising growth."

IBM has provided technology systems to la Caixa for the last 50 years.

A recent report said UK banks spend up to 40 percent more than the market price for IT services. The spending gap was caused by outdated operating models and unsuitable contracts.

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