Nordea and IBM sign agreement on IT partnership

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 1, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Building on Nordea's (Other OTC:NRDAF) (Other OTC:NRDEF) earlier announcement about IT production consolidation, Nordea and IBM have signed a 10-year estimated EUR 2.2 billion IT service agreement to transform and consolidate Nordea's overall IT production services into an on-demand infrastructure. As part of the solution, Nordea and IBM are forming a single-purpose joint venture, which will employ about 900 employees from Nordea starting 1 November 2003. The part of Nordea IT production to which this agreement applies represents an annual cost base of EUR 330-340 million including investment related expenses of EUR 30 million during the fourth quarter 2003. When the transformation is completed the partnership will bring significant cost savings to Nordea. In terms of absolute costs there will be a slight decrease during the next three years despite important transformation investments and volume growth.

"This partnership will facilitate a large transformation process to centralise our IT production, and thereby reduce IT costs while enabling us to focus more strongly on core business," said Markku Pohjola, Deputy Group CEO and Head of Group Processing and Technology.

The agreement moves Nordea from a fixed IT production cost structure to a model where Nordea pays only for use of the systems and technology provided via IBM's on-demand services. A number of technological platforms will be consolidated into one location, and networks and desktops will be standardised. IBM will deploy an environment that automates many tasks associated with key IT functions, such as resource provisioning, asset tracking, workflow scheduling, and real-time infrastructure monitoring.

IBM and Nordea will jointly staff a Transformation and Innovation centre to help Nordea realise additional cost savings and performance improvements.

"IBM's on-demand solution will enable Nordea to better align IT production costs with business volumes," said Dominique Cerutti, General Manager IBM Global Services, EMEA.

Nordea

Nordea is the leading financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region and operates through three business areas: Retail Banking, Corporate and Institutional Banking and Asset Management & Life. The Nordea Group has almost 11 million customers and 1,240 branch offices. The Nordea Group is a world leader in Internet banking, with more than 3.5 million e-customers. The Nordea share is listed in Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. www.nordea.com

IBM Global Services

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services and consulting provider, generating over $36 billion in 2002. Approximately 180,000 professionals serve customers in more than 160 countries, providing the entire spectrum of customers' e-business needs -- from the business transformation and industry expertise of IBM Business Consulting Services to hosting, infrastructure, technology design and training services. IBM Global Services delivers integrated, flexible and resilient processes - across companies and through business partners - that enable customers to maximize the opportunities of an on-demand business environment.

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