Bank One Corp. said it will put its name on all First Chicago NBD branches by late September but that computer system conversions may not be completed until 2001.
Bank One plans to change the signs on its 300 NBD branches in Michigan on May 17 and will rename its 160 First National Bank of Chicago branches by Sept. 30, said spokesman Thomas Kelly. On June 21 it will merge computer systems and rename those of its 150 NBD branches in Indiana that it does not close. The number to be closed has not been decided.
Though the NBD name will be retired, the Michigan computer systems will not be merged with Bank One's systems until sometime in 2000, Mr. Kelly said.
And 2001 is the latest date for merging the Chicago bank's computer systems with Bank One's, he said.
Despite the slow schedule for merging systems, Mr. Kelly said, the $260 billion-asset company is on track with its cost-cutting plan. Bank One plans to slice away $930 million of expenses by the end of 2000. It expects to achieve half of these savings this year.
A small number of branch closings will coincide with the renaming of the Chicago offices. Bank One had 15 Chicago offices before buying First Chicago.
The company said it will not change the name of its 10 American National Bank and Trust offices this year. Eventually, American National, formerly the middle-market commercial lending unit of First Chicago NBD, will take the Bank One moniker, Mr. Kelly said.
Bank One has already merged computer systems for its investment management and consumer finance businesses. It plans to merge the computer system used for 17 million First Chicago credit card accounts into Bank One's First USA credit card system by Sept. 30.
"Our three fastest-growing businesses are credit cards, investment management, and the finance company," Mr. Kelly said, "and we're either done with the integration of those areas or we're very close."
Bank One is creating a standard set of products for its commercial banking customers, but it is likely to stick with its current set of retail financial products. Bank One's five checking accounts will be offered to former NBD customers in Indiana when systems are merged and the NBD Bank name disappears in June.
Mr. Kelly said a brand marketing campaign will coincide with the change of bank names in former First Chicago NBD markets.
Bank One plans to offer its retail products in Michigan and Chicago when the First Chicago NBD computer systems are eventually merged. The company intends to standardize checking accounts across all its markets.
"Bank One is very clearly the stronger retail company," said Michael Mayo, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston.
As for expense cuts, Mr. Mayo said, "the proof will be in the pudding." He said he's giving the company the benefit of the doubt.
"It's not a slash-and-burn strategy so far," he said. "The advantage to that is, there's less risk. The disadvantage is, it takes more time to get the costs out."