Royal Bank of Scotland has said its group-wide IT investments are generating significant productivity gains despite its technology cost base barely increasing.

The bank today reported operating profits up 11% to £5.1bn in the six months to 30 June, on income that was 8% higher at £14.69bn, and said IT-driven change was making a big contribution to the healthy balance sheet.

The bank has made efforts to standardise its IT infrastructure and drive more business outside the traditional branch, and said the programme was helping it achieve “significant improvements in productivity” on overheads that have barely increased.

It said IT-driven productivity gains were enabling it “to absorb significant increases in service volumes, such as a 6% increase in transactions at our ATMs.

“At the same time, we maintained our focus on service quality, and our UK-based telephony team continued to record market-leading customer satisfaction scores.”

The bank also said it was “investing in ‘lean manufacturing’ approaches across our operational centres” which were expected to delivery further efficiency improvements.

Across the group, it spends nearly £1bn a year on technology, and makes a similar annual investment in its customer support and other service operations.

The bank is currently vying with Barclays to gain control of Dutch bank ABN Amro but has ruled out offshoring IT jobs if it seals the acquisition.