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Introduction Overview of the Company Marks and Spencers is a large UK based retailer with 683 branches in 2 continents Following the deregulation of the UK financial sector in the mid eighties the company decided to use its experience capital and brand power to branch into the lucrative financial services industry offering personal loans life insurance pensions and savings investments services such as Unit Trusts and ISAs through the company Marks and Spencers Financial Services Financial Services is now one of the fastest expanding areas of Marks Spencers MSFS employs more than 1400 staff at its purpose built headquarters in Chester and has dedicated financial services areas in 70 MS stores across the country The Information Systems department has 50 employees who come from analysis design programming backgrounds much of which has been gained with Marks Spencers plc The majority of these employees are based in the Chester head office and systems are developed in-house IS projects under development include the introduction of Individual Savings Accounts with other likely future projects including telephone banking credit cards and autoproperty insurance The fact that MSFS has entered the Financial Services Sector comparatively recently and with a established IS knowledge base from the parent company has meant that existing information systems have been well developed in terms of technology and are compliant with the latest industry regulations Therefore there is little or no need for redevelopment of existing systems in the short to medium term and the ISD focus is almost exclusively on new market areas requiring Information Systems that can be started from scratch The main exceptions to this are the possibility of introducing data warehousing to tap the potential of both MSFS and the parent companys client database to better target MSFS customers and the need to adapt existing systems for the introduction of the Euro projects which will involve redesign of existing data stores and software
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