Ten years ago we were a laggard, Standard Chartered said in its 2012 annual report, describing its record of technology innovation. Today our platform is award-winning. Kudos, then, to Jan Verplancke, CIO and group head of technology and operations, who assumed his post in Singapore in 2004 after serving as Dells CIO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. From upgrades in back-office and wholesale banking operations to investments in data management systems and mobile banking apps, Verplancke and his staff of 26,000 have delivered more than just modernization. The $637 billion-in-assets Standard Chartered lowered its cost-to-income ratio to 53.8 percent last year from 56.5 percent in 2011, helping to boost operating income 8 percent, to $19.1 billion. Our most immediate goal is to optimize our back-end platforms to build differentiated customer channel capabilities, which enhance the experience of interacting with the bank, says the 49-year-old CIO. The mobile apps, branded Breeze, are helping to address the needs of customers who are on the go, tech-savvy and value freedom and convenience. Breeze Home, for example, launched 18 months ago in Hong Kong, offers information on more than 100,000 properties for sale. Mobile is revolutionizing the way we bank and is key to commanding customer relationships in mature and emerging economies alike, says Verplancke.
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