BankAmerica Corp. and Barnett Banks Inc. have won separate contracts to manage a total of nearly $1 billion of the Postal Service's monthly cash flows.

BankAmerica will process about $610 million in monthly cash receivables in California; Barnett will handle about $375 million per month in Florida.

The contract announcements usher in a long-anticipated consolidation of the Postal Service's banking relationships.

Historically it has maintained cash management relationships with about 5,000 different banks.

But in an effort to simplify its operations and increase its clout with cash managers, the Postal Service aims to reduce its banking relationships to about 1,000 by next year.

About 40 "relationship banks" will receive large shares of the corporate banking business.

Nationwide the Postal Service collects up to $500 million per day.

Four banks manage the cash flows for the 2,150 California-based post offices. Three banks provide such services for 1,400 offices in Florida.

Postal Service officials did not disclose the financial terms of the BankAmerica and Barnett deals, nor did they reveal other bidders for the contracts.

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