Brussels-based Kredietbank, which has $73.5 billion in assets, is installing a U.S. vendor's Optical Fiche and Image System in its New York branch office.

The system was developed by International Financial Systems Ltd., New York, as a Windows-based application designed to eliminate the need to print computer-generated reports for storage in microfiche. With the new system, users will be able to access bank reports via a local area network for review on their PC workstations.

"Each night, banks generate stacks and stacks of greenlined reports. The reports are cumbersome to handle, and generating them is often a waste of paper because the critical data that a banker may need to read would be on a couple of pages out of a thousand," said Jim Flynn, an executive at the developer.

The opticcal fiche system takes report information generated on a bank's mainframe or midrange computer and stores it on an optical disk.

Accessing Historical Data

The system's designers say it can also store historical reports, eliminating the need to hunt through boxes of microfiche.

"If you need to check something from a particular day, like Feb. 15, 193, you simply click your mouse onto that day and the report will appear on the workstation," said Mr. Flynn.

He added that optical storage is the most economical way to store massive amounts of data on-line. He said that an organization with 100 employees can typically store a year's worth of report data on a 5.25-inch optical platter that costs $125.

The system has been on the market for six months. It was developed with the New York office of the Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.

Mr. Flynn said the system has also been installed in the New York offices of Bank Austria and Barclayss Bank.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance Writer based in New York

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