Affiliated Computer Services Inc. has agreed in principle to provide item-processing services to 310 banks, thrifts, and credit unions previously processed by New York-based Nationar.

Nationar, chartered as a trust company but relying mainly on its check processing business for revenue, was seized by New York State's acting superintendent of banks last week when liquidity problems prevented the company from meeting its daily obligations.

The Banking Department awarded the contract - whose length has not been determined - to Affiliated Computer despite overtures for Nationar's business by Fiserv Inc. of Milwaukee and other companies.

Observers said Affiliated had a leg up because the Dallas-based company's relationship with Nationar predates the seizure. Nationar officials had recently hired Affiliated Computer to help clean up some of the problems that led to last week's seizure.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our services into the Northeast, especially with Nationar's sizable and prestigious customer base," Darwin Deason, chairman and chief executive of Affiliated Computer, said in a written statement.

"This agreement creates tremendous opportunities for ACS to provide services in addition to item-processing services in the Northeast."

Nationar operates item processing centers in Utica and Woodbury, N.Y. The centers handle about 20 million items a month for customers in 40 states.

Affiliated Computer and state banking officials were not available for comment on the pending deal.

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