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Merger jobs safe says bank chief

The proposed merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD) should not lead to any job cuts, the EBI chairman told IT Weekly this week.

The proposed merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD) should not lead to any job cuts, the EBI chairman told IT Weekly this week.

Speaking after EBI’s annual general meeting (AGM) this week, chairman HE Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer said that the bank was not looking at job cuts, although he cautioned that it was still too early to talk about the impact on both banks’ IT systems. The whole timeframe for the merger has still to be resolved, he said. “We want to move things as fast as possible but I cannot put a timeframe,” Al Tayer said.

Last week’s surprise announcement of the merger, which will create the region’s largest bank with assets of US$45 billion, has left little time to work out integration details, executives were keen to stress.

EBI employs an estimated 5,000 people, including 200 staff in its IT department. IT systems it has deployed include various modules of Oracle’s E-Business suite, a core banking system from Misys and Reuters software as its treasury system.

NBD has previously deployed Oracle’s E-Business suite as well. Both banks are also among the first corporate customers in the region to get the BlackBerry mobile device. NBD employs 1,450 staff.

Successfully integrating IT systems can be crucial in such mergers, Gartner analyst Dave Aron told IT Weekly.

“If it is the absorption [approach], there will be massive overlap in every area and normally there would be some very aggressive cost cutting goals,” he said. “If the company takes the best of breed approach… there will be less overlap and there will be more opportunity to take sides.”

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