CommBank subsidiary Bankwest has confirmed, like other large organisations, it too has recently made changes to its IT contractor rates.
The alterations were in response to the "current economic challenges", according to a spokesperson for the bank, who added it had tried to be as transparent as possible with the reductions: "We have worked closely with all our suppliers to ensure that any changes have been communicated to them as soon as possible."
The cuts were not across the board, according to the spokesperson, who said that a "pragmatic approach" had been taken to retain resources and "only reduce contractor rates where necessary". The spokesperson maintained that the new rates remained at competitive levels.
National Australia Bank has also been lowering its contractor rates as contracts come up for renewal. Some contractors faced a general reduction in rates. Unisys has also said that it had reduced its contractor rates to cut operating costs.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia CIO Michael Harte yesterday said that the bank always tried to get competitive pricing in boom times and bust. "It's all on a case-by-case basis," he said. The bank didn't deal directly with most contractors, he said, instead relying on agencies. From time to time the bank would question different agencies about their pricing.
Commonwealth Bank recently acquired Bankwest. Harte said yesterday that the first work in integrating the systems for the two banks would be around the desktop, treasury, finance and human resources systems. The bank has previously indicated that it would wait until its core banking revamp was completed to start the integration.