Modernizing Legacy Banking Application for Leading German Bank


Update the client’s legacy OS/2 banking application and offer new solutions to broaden the customer base, diversify loans range, enhance the performance, and introduce new features to attract new customers. The project also aimed to digitize and accelerate the loan evaluation and approval process.


The bank’s Credit Department relied on a legacy OS/2 banking application running on the mainframe to collect and maintain vital information about clients, loans, credit scores, mortgages, and other important data. However, the bank’s outdated IT infrastructure became hard to manage, and upgrading the mainframe application was getting increasingly difficult. This was causing the bank to lose customers and market share.


  • The bank’s legacy application was inflexible and could not adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.
  • The bank’s application could not integrate fully into the rest of the business environment due to the complexity of the mainframe, putting the application data and functionality into a silo.
  • The application took too long to perform basic functions, leading to increasing customer dissatisfaction and loss. A customer had to wait for 2-3 days to get response from the bank.
  • None of the application’s processes were fully automated, causing delays, errors, and development bottlenecks.
  • The bank’s internal IT teams were not able to complete the project due to bigger problems in their business, infrastructure, and legacy processes.
  • The waterfall approach became a bottleneck for innovation, slowing down the software development process and limiting flexibility in response to changing requirements.


  • Improve the application’s performance and extend its feature set
  • Modernize the client’s mainframe as a whole to meet a full range of business requirements
  • Minimize risks during the transition
  • Integrate the application with the rest of the business environment to eliminate data silos
  • Create APIs that enable users to retrieve information through a web-based user interface
  • Relieve the burden on internal IT teams
  • Automate manual processes to reduce delays and errors


The bank decided to keep the mainframe but take a new, modernized approach to managing it and developing applications faster and more efficiently.

The bank collaborated with IBA Group’s mainframe teams to help solve the challenges. IBA Group worked to untangle the complex patchwork of different solutions within the mainframe. They introduced new problem-solving strategies and approaches, including Agile methodologies, to help the bank’s internal IT teams break away from old school ways of doing things.

IBA Group also used their rare skills in the COBOL programming language to fix and extend the application. They automated many of the manual processes that had been causing delays and errors, which freed up the internal IT teams to focus on other tasks. IBA Group also integrated the application more fully into the bank’s wider business environment, reducing its siloed status.


By partnering with IBA Group, the bank was able to modernize the application and  entire mainframe system, develop new features and capabilities, unload the support burden off their internal IT teams, and deliver measurable ROI including:

  • Increasing the number of loans issued each day by 140%
  • Accelerating loan approvals from 3-4 banking days to just a few seconds
  • Reducing the time to onboard a new employee by 3 times

Retaining all features of the legacy application, the new solution provided enhanced functionality and was fully integrated into the customer’s corporate landscape.

The new system reduced manual data entry, automated repetitive activities, and minimized the number of delays and errors, which significantly increased the efficiency of the Bank’s Credit Department.

The new application was highly scalable and with improved performance and stability, supporting more than 3,000 concurrent users.

Employees of the Credit Department were able to get access to credit scoring in real time. This happened because all related applications and databases were integrated by API.

Overall, improved functionality and new features of the application helped the bank expand their client base and provide a wider range of loans, along with faster and more efficient loan evaluations and approvals.


Programming languages: PLI, COBOL, and specially developed procedure language which automatically generates source code in Cobol for user screens

Messaging: IBM MQ

Scheduling: TWS (former OPC)

Databases: VSAM and lately added DB2 databases

Transactioning: CICS

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