Sovereign Bancorp signs six-year outsourcing contract with ALLTEL

Bank to convert deposit, loan, mortgage, Internet-banking systems to ALLTEL platforms

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Sovereign Bancorp, the parent company of Sovereign Bank, a $40 billion financial institution with approximately 525 community banking offices, has signed a six-year outsourcing agreement with ALLTEL for information technology services.

Sovereign, headquartered in Philadelphia, will use more than a dozen different ALLTEL products that will cut costs for the institution and improve service for customers. ALLTEL Information Services will implement a suite of integrated deposit and loan banking products, mortgage origination and servicing systems, an Internet-banking platform and its channel integration solution.

The Sovereign accounts will be processed in an application service provider (ASP) environment.

Sovereign Bank is among the top 25 largest banking institutions in the United States and has more than 1,000 ATMs and about 7,500 employees in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.

"This decision was made after extensive due diligence and analysis of top system providers," said Jay Sidhu, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Sovereign Bancorp and Sovereign Bank. "We expect to achieve improved technology, more flexibility in our corporate and consumer product offerings, lower unit costs, enhanced scalability, growth flexibility and functionality that is consistent with Sovereign's strategic plan. In addition, all of our customers will be able to use any of our community banking offices once this transition to ALLTEL is completed over the next few quarters."

"Sovereign's decision to convert to ALLTEL products is a strong sign that our significant investment in products over the last several years are having a direct and positive effect on our customers," said Jeff Fox, president of ALLTEL Information Services. "ALLTEL's track record proves we can deliver measurable efficiencies and process improvements on behalf of Sovereign."

"By embracing ALLTEL as our partner we get the economic benefit of processing our core accounts in a leveraged ASP environment and we also receive the benefits of continual technological innovation," said John McCarthy, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Sovereign. "Additionally, as part of this arrangement, ALLTEL will maintain an onsite presence and offer continual support and direction to improve our business process. In this arrangement, everyone is motivated to deliver process improvements that result in cost savings for the institution and better products and services to our customers, which is all that our customers will notice about this transition to ALLTEL."

Forty-seven of the top 50 U.S. banks rely on ALLTEL's products and services. ALLTEL provides loan-servicing automation for more than 20 million mortgage loans, with balances exceeding $2 trillion. Additionally, more than one-third of the total dollar volume of outstanding U.S. consumer loans, including mortgages, is processed on ALLTEL Information Services' software applications.

ALLTEL, with more than 12 million communications customers and more than $7.7 billion in revenues, is a leader in the communications and information services industries. ALLTEL has communications customers in 26 states and provides information services to telecommunications, financial and mortgage clients in more than 50 countries.

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