Two major international banks have announced that they will be installing Hewlett-Packard Co. branch automation platforms.

Fuji Bank and Banco Bamerindus both have committed to using the hardware vendor's servers at their branch offices. The reduced instruction-set, computing-based system -- which has been embraced by many other banks, brokerage houses, and insurance firms, including Wells Fargo & Co. - will run several customer-related applications.

These systems promise more power and flexibility than personal computer, local-area networks can deliver, according to Hewlett-Packard.

"Our scalable family of servers gives companies the full benefit of open systems," said Carol G. Mills, the general manager of Hewlett-Packard's general systems division. "This allows users to customize applications with their choice of multi-vendor software and peripherals as they build systems."

This trend toward open systems and client-server operations, which has been picking up speed among American banks, now seems to be taking greater hold with foreign banks as well.

For Fuji Bank, one of the largest banks in the world, these Hewlett-Packard servers take the burden of some retail applications off the mainframe. The Japanese bank is implementing these terminals in 400 of its branches in 33 countries. The bank will be using these servers to develop and access client information, according to a prepared release.

Banco Bamerindus the third-largest private Brazilian bank, switched from its current branch automation system - based on two proprietary systems - to the new Hewlett-Packard open system. The bank plans to install systems in 500 branch locations, at the rate of 25 branches per week. Bamerindus is already halfway to its goal.

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