Printer Friendly

FIRST UNION COMPLETES LARGEST SYSTEMS CONVERSION IN U.S. BANKING HISTORY

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- First Union Corp. (NYSE: FTU FTUpr) has completed the largest systems conversion in U.S. banking history and will soon be the first major multi-state bank- holding company in the nation to have all of its deposit accounts on a common, integrated computer system.
 Conversion of First Union's state banking operations to the deposit system started 15 months ago and have now been completed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The latest conversion of Decatur Federal was completed in mid-June. Conversions of First Union's most recent merger partners -- Dominion, Meritor, Georgia Federal and First American -- are scheduled later this year.
 The biggest conversion, completed by First Union National Bank of Florida on May 21, involved 2.3 million customer accounts, or nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population. It was the largest systems conversion ever completed in a single weekend by a U.S. bank and came after months of training for branch employees.
 The system, called Emerald, allows First Union bankers to access all customer records from any branch office in any of its operating states.
 "We believe this system pushes us far ahead of our competitors," said Byron Hodnett, CEO of First Union National Bank of Florida. "When someone walks into any of our 485 Florida branches and needs to cash a check or check the balance of his account in North Carolina, we can do that immediately."
 The system also lays the groundwork for First Union to serve customers when federal law allows individuals to do their banking business from any location in any state. Federal law now prohibits banks from accepting deposits across state lines. For example, a customer from First Union National Bank of Florida cannot make a deposit at a First Union branch in North Carolina -- even though First Union now has the technological ability to handle that customer transaction.
 "The Emerald system offers First Union and our customers a number of immediate, competitive advantages," said Jim Chester, vice president of First Union's Automation Division, and manager of the Southern Region Data Center located in Jacksonville. "It will improve accuracy and customer service because it puts branches in instant control of customer information, offers access to a customer's total relationship with the bank, and automates the setup of product packages."
 Other competitive advantages offered by the Emerald system include:
 -- Support for up to 999 products. The previous system
 could accommodate only 28 different products.
 -- Quicker response to market needs. Emerald can help
 introduce new products rapidly and allows First Union
 to enhance deposit product features and capabilities
 efficiently.
 -- Flexible interest rate structures to accommodate
 various market conditions.
 First Union's automation and operations systems also provide sophisticated sales tracking and management reporting capabilities. These highly accurate and timely reports help the company to reward customer sales and service personnel for outstanding sales performance.
 The vision for a system such as Emerald has been discussed in banking circles since 1985, when the Supreme Court upheld the Southeast Compact permitting interstate banking in 14 Southeastern states.
 That landmark legislation set off a spree of interstate mergers and acquisitions, and it quickly became clear that technology to access and update account information across multiple states and hundreds of branches would one day be vital to competitiveness.
 Emerald -- symbolizing the system's many facets and high quality, as well as First Union's signature green -- is the first large-scale system of its kind. Planning for the system -- which was developed internally by First Union at a cost of more than $25 million -- began more than four years ago.
 Converting the 2.3 million accounts in First Union-Florida's records required a tremendous amount of training and teamwork involving thousands of employees.
 "Every one of our 1,842 Customer Service Representatives, 1,396 Tellers and 210 other branch employees underwent more than 50-hours of computer-based training during the spring, and over the conversion weekend we had more than 2,000 employees working in the branches," said Chester.
 "I'm extremely proud," said Hodnett after the conversion was complete. "The branches trained hard and knew the procedures. And behind the scenes everyone worked long hours to make it go very well."
 Since deregulation, First Union's assets have grown from about $7 billion to nearly $72 billion in 1993, including its most recent expansion into Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.. With this strong growth orientation, it was natural for First Union to lead the way in developing systems to improve customer service across its more than 1,300 branches.
 "Our goal from day one was to have one name, one set of products, and a common automation system," said Edward E. Crutchfield, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, First Union Corporation. "We knew we were going to have one unified company. Emerald is the offspring of that philosophy."
 First Union Corporation, the nation's eighth-largest bank holding company, has assets of approximately $72 billion and operates some 1,300 banking offices in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and 238 nonbanking offices in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
 -0- 6/28/93
 /CONTACT: (Media) Monty Hagler of First Union Corporation, 704-374-4072/
 (FTU)


CO: First Union Corporation; First Union National Bank of Florida ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:

MM -- CH008 -- 6194 06/28/93 11:17 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 28, 1993
Words:887
Previous Article:IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS COMPLETES EXPANSION TO NEW HEADQUARTERS; UNIFIES ALL COMPANY OPERATIONS IN SAN DIEGO
Next Article:GOODYEAR TIRE AD WINS AWARD
Topics:


Related Articles
FIRST UNION TO ACQUIRE FLORIDA-BASED MERITOR SAVINGS, FA
FIRST UNION CORPORATION TO ACQUIRE GEORGIA FEDERAL BANK FSB
FIRST UNION ACQUIRES SOUTH CAROLINA FEDERAL
FIRST UNION COMPLETES LARGEST SYSTEMS CONVERSION IN U.S. BANKING HISTORY
UNITED FINANCIAL MERGES WITH FIRST UNION Three United Directors Join South Carolina Bank Board
FIRST BANK SYSTEM CONVERTS FIRSTIER ACQUISITION
FIRST UNION FIRST TO OFFER INTERNATIONAL TRADE FINANCE IN CYBERSPACE
FIRST UNION CONVERSION OF ACCOUNTS, BRANCHES IN NORTHEAST A SUCCESS
Fleet Financial Group Completes Ambitious Seven State Conversion Of Shawmut and NatWest Operations
First Union National Bank Migrates to Trustware 11's Alpha Platform

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters