First Union Corp. is designing its own commercial loan officer's platform, following in the tracks of several other superregional banks.

First Union is in the first phases of a project to give commercial loan officers access to a wide variety of customer and marketing data from a single workstation.

The project is one of several undertaken by big banks to develop software using International Business Machines Corp.'s OS/2 operating system after a commercial lending system being developed by IBM was abandoned.

A Comprehensive System

The commercial loan area has been one of the most difficult to automate, and lending officers typically have to learn to use several systems.

Microsoft Corp. has gathered together IBM's former partners and is developing a comprehensive system that uses Microsoft Windows.

First Union, a $73 billion asset bank based in Charlotte, N.C., is this quarter putting software into daily use -- from Micro Resources Inc., Larkspur, Calif., -- that will give lending officers a snapshot of customer and loan profitability.

Customer Reporting System

First Union officials say the software should help the bank improve its profit margins and productivity.

The $73 billion-asset bank has already installed a customer reporting system that Andersen Consulting Co. developed for the bank. The system accesses current balances stored on a mainframe.

The new system will replace several disparate systems. Today if a lending officer wants to view a customer's performance over the past year and his current loan balance he must go to two different systems.

Both the Andersen and the Micro Resources software use information on an IBM DB2 relational data base-management system, as will future additions to this project.

Once the software is in production this year, First Union plans to add other functions including spreadsheets, and a sales-management system that would track the activities of a customer's account team and give necessary information to an account representative about to make a sales call.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.