Citicorp to Automate Its European Branches

LONDON - Citicorp has signed a contract with Philips Electrics, the Dutch technology company, to help automate its bank branches across Europe.

The deal, whose value wasn't disclosed, provides for the installation of 5,000 workstations at about 650 Citibank branches on the continent.

The first units will be located in Germany, where the U.S. money-center bank operates its largest consumer banking network.

The system, based on Philips' own computers and related technology, will provide a common platform for traditional teller and sales support functions, such as mortgage lending, according to a Citibank spokesman.

The contract is being carried out by Philips' Financial Information System division, which U.S.-based Digital Equipment Corp. is currently negotiating to acquire.

The pending Digital acquisition will include Philips' services for banks and other financial institutions as well as its image and document management systems division.

About 7,000 personnel in the division are due to transfer to the European operations of Digital, which has its headquarters in Maynard, Mass. Philips claims that 70 of the world's leading 200 banks use its equipment.

The Philips spokesman said last week that terms of the takeover, which was announced in principle last July, would be finalized by the end of this week.

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