IBM signs CaixaBank in cloud services deal

The Spanish banking giant will use IBM Cloud for Financial Services to run key software applications

IBM expanded its presence in the European financial services market this week by inking a cloud services agreement with Spanish banking giant CaixaBank. 

The company signed a multi-year agreement with CaixaBank to run financial software in its cloud infrastructure. Under the deal, the bank will use IBM Cloud for Financial Services to run key software applications while complying with the EU's GDPR data protection rules. 

Launched in April, IBM Cloud for Financial Services enables financial institutions to host their software and services in the cloud while complying with regional regulations. It features a framework for financial services that includes a range of applications from IBM and third-party integrated software vendors. 

As part of the service, CaixaBank will use IBM's data encryption capabilities. The IT vendor's Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services encrypt financial services companies' data while allowing them to keep and manage their own security keys. This means that IBM is unable to decrypt the bank's data. 

The CaixaBank deal coincides with the launch of IBM's Spanish multi-zone region (MZR). MZRs feature separate computing facilities connected by low-latency links that offer fail-over continuity. The Spanish zone will offer better regional coverage and address data sovereignty needs. 

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Other features of the cloud service include compliance monitoring through the IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center, and the use of isolated computing facilities and network segments, which heightens the privacy level for sensitive financial services workloads. IBM Cloud for Financial Services offers dedicated servers for financial software and can isolate traffic within availability zones. 

Listed as the 25th largest bank in Europe, CaixaBank is a ten-year old lender headquartered in Valencia. This year, the company completed the acquisition of rival Bankia for €4.3bn, making it the largest bank in Spain. 

IBM has been focusing more heavily on its cloud business over the last few years, leading to a growth in this area against a backdrop of falling overall revenues. 

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