The American Bankers Association is creating an on-line service for the nation's bankers.
The service, to be called Bankers Electronic Network, is being developed in conjunction with a number of state trade associations. It will provide bankers throughout the country with electronic mail, bulletin boards, data bases, and gateways to legislation and regulation information through a personal computer network.
"This is the information superhighway for the banking community," said ABA executive vice president Donald Olgivie. "It is a network which will allow thousands of bankers to communicate with each other and have access to vital information quickly and efficiently."
The ABA has been testing the network for the last month and will exhibit a prototype of the system at a community bankers conference in Florida later this month. A nationwide rollout is planned for the early summer.
"This is the wave of the future," said Joe Brannen, president of the Georgia Bankers Association and chairman of the planning board for the network. "It is a fact of life in banking today that access to timely and accurate information is a key element to remaining competitive in today's marketplace, and this network will enhance a banker's ability to communicate in the industry through a single unified source."
The national portion of the network, which includes electronic mail and access to ABA data bases, will be administered by the ABA's Corporation for American Banking. Individual state associations will be responsible for developing and managing state-based bulletin boards, data bases, and information on regulation and legislation.
"All of the states have associations and the network will provide an electronic link between the institutions both for in(state) and out-of- state use," Mr. Brannen said. "The network will give the banks the ability to communicate with each other unlike ever before, as well as provide access to important information as soon as it is available."
John Milstead, executive vice president of the Florida Bankers Association, said the network will help the organization in every aspect of its operation.
"The network will enhance our ability to perform functions more promptly and at a reduced cost," he said. "It will give us an immediate link to members and provide us with the ability to get information regarding legislation and regulation to our members much faster than traditional paper methods."
David Bakerian, executive vice president of the Delaware Bankers Association, said the network seems to be the most cost effective method available to get information to members of its organization.
"We are always looking for faster ways to pass on information to our bankers, and this sounds like a good tool," he said. "It will provide us with another conduit to receive information and quickly pass it onto to key bankers across the state."
The ABA plans to market the network aggressively through the state banking associations. Subscriptions to the network will be available to banks throughout the contiguous United States and Puerto Rico for a monthly service fee.
Mr. Brannen said he is unsure how many banks will initially subscribe to the network or what the monthly fee will be.