BinckBank has aborted the sale of the Able BPO business to Blackfin Capital Partners. As many as 14 Benelux-based banks could be looking for new systems as BinckBank also states that services to BPO clients of its Europort+ system will be gradually phased out by 2018.
BinckBank has scrapped the planned sale of the Able BPO business (based on the Europort+ portfolio management system) to Blackfin Capital Partners. The sale had been agreed in July, following the announcement from BinckBank earlier this year that it was looking for buyers. In a statement on its website, BinckBank said: ‘Blackfin Capital Partners and BinckBank have agreed to terminate the letter of intent signed on 18/7/2014 as the necessary conditions for transfer of BPO clients have not been achieved within the set timeline.’
A future sale of the software and licensing activities of Able is still on the cards according to the statement, with the BPO business to be integrated into the retail part of the bank. However, the clients of Europort+ will soon have to look for a new BPO provider, as ‘the services to BPO clients will gradually be phased out’. The existing clients (there are around 15, BinckBank among them) have services contracts until 2018, at which time support will be switched off.
Able came into being in early 2013, after the integration of the former Syntel business (the vendor of Europort+) and the professional services business of BinckBank. At the time, the CEO of Able, Pieter Aartsen, stated that Europort+ would be the ‘backbone’ of the new business.
However, rumours of a potential sale surfaced towards the end of 2013, and were formalised by the bank in early 2014 in its financial results. Koen Beentjes, chief executive of BinckBank, also stated that ‘we will have all businesses on one retail platform’. The Netherlands, Italy and Belgium-based operations have been moved from Europort+ onto the new ‘European ICT platform’, with France due to migrate by the end of 2015. The new platform is based on the Topline system, an in-house development which came the way of BinckBank after the acquisition of Alex Asset Management in 2008.
By Jan Metcalf