NAB tech costs head north

National Australia Bank's technology costs have jumped substantially over the last year, even as the bank has continued efforts to offshore technology work to India.

National Australia Bank's technology costs have jumped substantially over the last year, even as the bank has continued efforts to offshore technology work to India.

Spending by NAB on the bank's and its subsidiaries' computers and software jumped $81 million to $304 million for the year to 30 September, according to NAB's financial report released today.

The bank's data communication and processing bill also rose, up $23 million to $117 million this year.

The group has ploughed millions into its IT assets over the year, in particular software, as it commences work on its core banking modernisation program. It has also moved more IT roles to its Indian outsourcing partners, Infosys and Satyam. Its IT operations are led by CIO Michelle Tredenick.

NAB increased the value of its data processing equipment assets by $44 million to $331 million for the year. The group assumed its equipment had an initial value of $1.15 billion, which had depreciated $925 million over the year. It did not divulge the specifics of its data processing equipment category.

The largest change in value for IT assets held by the bank came through its investment in software. NAB's software assets increased in value by $96 million to nearly $1 billion for the year, driven largely by greater investment in acquired software. Last year NAB invested $515 million on acquired software, which this year was boosted by $138 million to $619 million. After depreciation, NAB's acquired software assets were worth $334 million.

Internally developed software however, held the lion's share of its $1 billion in software assets. Initially worth $1.47 billion, the depreciated value of its in-house developed software stood at $619 million.

NAB is expected to give further details at its annual general meeting on 18 December.

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