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FIRST BANK SYSTEM 'A' SENIOR DEBT AFFIRMED AFTER MERGER ANNOUNCEMENT -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

FIRST BANK SYSTEM 'A' SENIOR DEBT AFFIRMED AFTER MERGER ANNOUNCEMENT
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- First Bank System, Inc.'s 'A' senior debt is affirmed following its announcement of an agreement to acquire Colorado National Bankshares, Inc. First Bank, N.A.'s 'A/F-1' certificates of deposit are also affirmed.
 The proposed acquisition should enhance First Bank System's position in key Colorado markets and, after integration with existing operations and the pending Bank Western acquisition, would create the largest banking franchise in the state with $8 billion in assets. The merger could result in annual cost savings of up to $70 million by 1994 through branch consolidations and overall conforming of Colorado National's overhead base to First Bank System standards.
 In addition, First Bank System acquires the 50 percent of Rocky Mountain BankCard System (RMBCS) which it did not already own. RMBCS is a leader in credit cards, merchant, and ATM/POS processing. RMBCS services over 750,000 card holders. The acquisition will provide economies of scale and open up the RMBCS customer base to cross-selling opportunities. This activity was previously prohibited by mutual agreement.
 Based on current data, the merger will create an institution with $25.7 billion in assets and a loan portfolio totalling $17.0 billion split equally between consumer and commercial loans. While the merger may result in some deterioration in First Bank System's asset quality ratios, the impact is expected to be minimal. On a pro forma basis (after considering the combined impact of the Colorado National, Bank Western and Bankshares, Inc. transactions) nonperforming assets would represent approximately 2.65 percent of total loans and foreclosed property. Capital would remain strong with equity to assets and Tier 1 capital of 7.0 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Scott J. O'Donnell, 212-908-0531, or Christopher M. Siedman, 212-908-0524, both of Fitch/
 (FBS) CO: First Bank System, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: FIN SU: RTG


SM -- NY103 -- 9472 11/10/92 17:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1992
Words:334
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