January 23, 2006 17:26 ET

Grupo Banco Popular Chooses Innovative IBM Technologies to Improve Efficiency, Reduce Costs and Gain Flexibility

IBM Contract Will Help the Banking Group to Retain Its Leadership Position in Spain in the Adoption and Implementation of Technology; The Group Expects to Obtain Significant Savings in Three Years in the Area of Information Systems

MADRID, SPAIN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 23, 2006 -- Grupo Banco Popular has signed an agreement with IBM for the renovation of its technology infrastructure. The contract, which includes hardware, software and services, will help the financial group to remain at the forefront of Spanish banking, improving efficiency, reducing costs and gaining flexibility to meet the demands of clients in the future.

The contract is expected to bring significant savings in the next three years. Grupo Banco Popular is improving operational performance and security, with a back-up system available in real time whenever needed.

"Signing this agreement with IBM, one of the most solid and innovative companies in the technology world, will allow Grupo Banco Popular to successfully meet future challenges and objectives," says Francisco Fernández Dopico, CEO of Banco Popular.

"Globalization and increased regulatory requirements have broad implications for European banks," said Juan Pi Llorens, Vice President IBM Sectors SW Europe. "To grow revenues in a more competitive environment, leading banks are looking to maximize the efficiency of their IT systems to reduce costs and allow them to respond more rapidly to changing market dynamics. The advanced systems that banks such as Banco Popular are building, will allow not only for more resilient operations and help to mitigate operational risk, but help them to better serve their clients."

IBM Business Consulting Services will collaborate with the group to define and develop innovation projects for several business areas. Over the next three years, IBM will continue to manage Grupo Banco Popular's systems infrastructure, and will also cooperate in technology implementation and technical support.

Grupo Banco Popular will obtain the latest IBM technologies together with implementation support. The financial group has opted for the IBM eServer zSeries and IBM eServer pSeries servers, as well as disk storage technology and robotics. The application of these technologies will allow the group to mitigate the impact of operational risks.

In the software area, Grupo Banco Popular is looking to continuously improve the development and management of application processes, obtain a return on investment with existing applications and increase staff productivity. For these purposes, the Rational family of products, SOA (services oriented architecture) and Workplace collaboration tools are being introduced.

About Grupo Banco Popular

Grupo Banco Popular is the third banking group in Spain and it is formed by Banco Popular Español, Banco de Andalucía, Banco de Castilla, Banco de Crédito Balear, Banco de Galicia, Banco de Vasconia,, Banco Popular Hipotecario, Banco Popular Portugal y Banco Popular France, with a total of 2,385 offices.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM works with companies of all sizes around the world to deploy a full range of IBM technologies. For more information about IBM, visit

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