- Sopra Financial Technology and seven Sparda-Banks will end their joint venture in 2026.
- The IT service provider realigns its market strategy in Germany.
- Future offering is to address a broader segment of financial institutions.
Nuremberg, March 31, 2023
In 2019, the Sparda-owned IT service provider, Sparda-Datenverarbeitung eG was merged into Sopra Financial Technology (SFT), with the Sopra Steria Group subsequently acquiring a majority stake. The declared aim of the seven participating Sparda-Banks and the Sopra Steria Group at the time was to modernize the banks’ IT systems and to offer the joint platform to other banks in Germany.
Now, the shareholders of SFT have agreed to terminate the joint IT transformation project and to end their cooperation in 2026. Until then, SFT will guarantee the existing IT services for the Sparda-Banks and support their gradual migration to Atruvia.
Nevertheless, SFT intends to further expand its presence in the financial services sector in Germany and is adapting its market strategy to the new circumstances. SFT’s service portfolio will be redefined in close cooperation with all Financial Services units of the Sopra Steria Group.
When asked about the reason for the end of the cooperation with the Sparda-Banks, Tobias Unger, CEO of SFT since November 2022, replied, “Compared to 2019, today the ideas of the Sopra Steria Group and the Sparda-Banks differ significantly with regards to the initial orientation of the banking platform, the expected timeframe for the project, and the required investments. Also, several external factors have changed and achieving the original joint venture goals became increasingly difficult and necessitated this change in focus.”
SFT sees the fact that its offering does no longer have to be aligned to the specific business model of the Sparda-Banks as an opportunity to win new customers. Furthermore, the support and the determination of the Sopra Steria Group to be the European market leader in the financial services sector is emphasized. A strong position in Germany is essential for this.
Commenting on SFT’s change of direction, Christian Pfeiffer, deputy CEO of SFT since January 2023, said: “We must continue to ensure the provision of services for the Sparda-Banks on the basis of the current banking platform until 2026, as well as the stability of operations and key suppliers. And we will continue executing the project portfolio for our customers until the switch, prepare the migration project and successfully execute it in close cooperation with all stakeholders.”
Tobias Unger concludes: “We are now adjusting our course. New opportunities are opening in front of us: we can build state-of-the-art solutions without having to consider all the requirements from the past. We will thus be able to rely on the most up-to-date technologies. SFT’s strengths are obvious – we have extensive IT expertise in orchestrating and operating banking solutions. However, what clearly sets us apart from others is our knowledge of German banking and regulations, based on more than 35 years of experience. This combination makes us unique. We now work on innovative business models around banking operations and integration and transformation services. These are our core competencies, which we can apply optimally to the new chapter.”
About Sopra Financial Technology
Sopra Financial Technology GmbH covers all aspects relevant to digital banking – from conception and software development to deployment, operation, service and support for core banking systems, online banking (web/apps), sales solutions, construction financing, self-service systems and much more. The company was founded in 1983 as Sparda-Datenverarbeitung eG in Nuremberg. Since the entry of the French group Sopra Steria SA, a leading European technology company in August 2019, Sopra Financial Technology GmbH is part of the Sopra Steria Group.