SOURCE: IBM

March 22, 2005 13:06 ET

IBM Signs C$30-Million IT Deal to Support Laurentian Bank's Growth Plans

Six-Year IT Agreement to Expand Services and Optimize Costs Through New Scalable Technologies

MONTREAL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2005 -- Laurentian Bank and IBM Canada Ltd announced an estimated C$30-million [Canadian dollars], six-year agreement under which IBM will manage the Bank's IT operations.

These operations support the bank's back office along with its ABM services as well as the systems supporting wealth management, mutual funds and the bank's commercial business lines. This agreement will ensure that Laurentian Bank can scale its IT operations capacity as needed, paying only for what it uses.

This agreement builds upon the existing relationship between IBM and Laurentian and provides the bank with a new level of flexibility in the management of its IT operations to support the bank's growth plans. It extends a 4 year managed IT operations agreement between IBM and Laurentian for another 6 years.

"If there's a surge in Laurentian's needs or a large increase in customer inquiries, for instance during the busy RRSP season, IBM can provide the additional IT capacity with a turn of the switch," said Denis Chalifour, Director of IBM Global Services, Quebec. "With our industry expertise, we can offer new technology that increases the power and flexibility of the IT resources the bank needs, while charging Laurentian only for the resources it actually uses."

In 2004, IBM and Laurentian announced another agreement to support the bank's growth plans. They have been working together to install some 200 state-of-the-art automated banking machines throughout Quebec, enabling the bank to offer new banking services. The machines respond faster and provide information updates instantly on their screens about the bank's new services as the bank grows its business within Quebec.

"We have selected IBM to provide managed IT operations as we grow our business because they have a proven track record with our bank," said Philippe Duby, Chief Information Officer, Laurentian Bank. "This agreement supports our plans to be even more responsive to our customers. As a result, we can increase our flexibility and significantly optimize our costs for the management of our IT operations."

About IBM's Financial Services Sector

IBM is the world's largest information technology (IT) company and provider of IT services, as well as a preeminent technology partner to the world's financial services industry. Working directly with its financial services customers and with IBM certified Business Partners, IBM helps them become more competitive through the innovative deployment of high-impact, on demand solutions that enable financial institutions to achieve flexibility, scalability, variability, robustness and security in their IT architecture. These solutions comprise the full range of IBM capabilities including consulting, software, hardware, research and services. IBM offers solutions that strengthen customer relationships, streamline business processes, reduce costs and risks and enhance technical infrastructure. Additional information can be found at www.ibm.com/solutions/financialservices.

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About Laurentian Bank

Founded in 1846, Laurentian Bank ranks seventh among Canadian Schedule I banks, with balance sheet assets of over $16 billion and managed assets of nearly $15 billion. The bank offers highly competitive products and superior personalized services to meet the banking and financial needs of individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and of independent financial advisors. Its common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: LB). The address of the Bank's website is www.laurentianbank.ca.

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