Core System Renewal at the Bank of Shanghai: A Case Study

by Hua Zhang, December 22, 2008


The Bank of Shanghai, one of China’s more innovative banks, is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy focused on differentiating its products and services and enhancing the profitability of each customer. To help realize its business goals the bank embarked on a core transformation project, becoming one of the first banks in China to successfully implement an international core banking solution.

After considering numerous core banking products, the bank selected the Temenos T24 system for both its retail and corporate banking systems, running it on a Hewlett-Packard Superdome 9000 series server-based open system. The Bank of Shanghai’s new core system represents a significant evolution over its legacy architecture. Design improvements include: a customer-centric data model; domestic and foreign currencies as well as corporate and retail banking placed on a uniform platform; integrated accounting; unified channel management; enhanced operations management functionality; a parameter-based system; and better suitability for Basel II and new accounting standards.

Celent’s new report, Core System Renewal at the Bank of Shanghai: A Case Study, examines the business case and key success factors for the project. The bank’s executive team was committed to implementing a world-class solution, and was willing to change business processes at the bank to fit the new solution, rather than demanding endless customization. The bank was experiencing rapid growth over the 4-1/2 year duration of the project, which posed challenges to both the lines of business and the project team; such conflicts were resolved on a case-by-case basis so as to not impede the progress of the implementation. When the system went live, careful attention was paid to the impact of the system switch-over on the bank's customers.

"The next-generation core system provides enhanced functionality to support products and services," says Hua Zhang, Celent analyst and the author of the report. "The Bank of Shanghai's various lines of business are now running on a new platform that meets international standards, enabling significant improvements in operational efficiency and the quality of its products and services."

A Chinese version of the report is available here.


Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Introduction to the Bank of Shanghai



The Chinese Banking Industry



The Bank of Shanghai’s Strategy


Project Background


Vendor Selection—Temenos and Hewlett-Packard


Challenges and Lessons Learned




IT and Operational Improvements





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