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NAB reports spending on Next Generation Banking IT platform

The National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) has reported that it continues to spend up on its Next Generation Banking following the release of its March 2011 half year financial results.

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In the results released to the ASX the bank said investment in infrastructure projects has increased by $127 million or 7.3 per cent since the March 2010 half year, reflecting the continued focus on improving quality, consistency and capabilities and customer service.

"This was mainly driven by the Group's Next Generation Banking IT platform (NGP) investment and the transformation and convergence of key technology and operational infrastructure."

The platform will replace many of the bank's legacy applications and processes and is geared at transforming its Australian operations. Total infrastructure spend for the bank for the half year to March 2011 was $305 million, up from $178 million in the March 2010 half year.

The bank also noted other infrastructure investment activities during the half year including large scale upgrades to technology infrastructure and the integration of its Aviva business.

"There are 63 integration projects that are now complete, with cost synergy run rates tracking above expectations and head of the business case," the ASX report reads. "A key achievement in the first half was the consolidation of Aviva's technology infrastructure into he broader NAB Group."

The reports did not comment on the recent issues the bank has experienced with its online banking, including a batch system problem halts transactions between NAB and other banks nationwide.

The bank also noted that its Group Business Services full time employees increased by 948 net of technology outsourcing to IBM during the half when compared to the March 2010 half.

"This was predominantly to service increased project demand and also as a result of convergence activity," the report reads.

The number of Australian internet banking customers increased to 1.866 million up from 1.523 million in the March 2010 half year. New Zealand internet banking customers to 513,000 up from 472,000 in the March 2010 half year.

The bank also reported cash earnings for the 2011 half year were $2.7 billion, up 21.7 per cent on the March 2010 half year. Statutory net profit for the March 2011 half year increased by 15.9 per cent to $2.4 billion compared to the March 2010 half year.

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