The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is standardising a key corporate client back-end system on SAP, as part of a multibillion pound group wide IT simplification programme.

The contract was signed in September, a month before the majority state-owned bank imposed a technology spending freeze across parts of its business.

RBS is ripping out its legacy in-house deposits liquidity engine, which provides a view of corporate customers’ accounts.

It is implementing modules of the SAP for Banking portfolio, with the aim of enabling sales staff to have a better view of clients and to improve how they pitch specific products and services to them.

RBS and Natwest online banking pulled down by systems upgrade

In October, a leaked Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) email revealed the cost-cutting measures the investment banking division was undertaking, including a new rule that regional chief information officers had to sign off any large technology expenditure.

In February, chief executive Stephen Hester said an “overdue” investment in technology standardisation, initiated several years ago, was crucial to the bank’s future, as it delivered a £1.1 billion annual loss.

“We are completely clear – success in serving customers is the key to our business future. Overdue investment in service, technology and a changing cultural approach is starting to roll out across RBS,” Hester said.

RBS is spending £6 billion overhauling its IT and marketing operations. It is understood that SAP is becoming one of the main standardised technology platforms, though the bank has not officially detailed its specific system choices. RBS’ technology setup had become complex, following a string of large acquisitions over the last decade, prompting the standardisation programme.