Centura Bank in North Carolina is buying a multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art branch automation system that will use Microsoft Corp.'s new software for running personal computer networks.

Rocky Mount, N.C.-based Centura, with $4.2 billion in assets, has contracted with Electronic Data Systems Corp. to install an $8 million branch system using number of new technologies in the rapidly developing realm of "client-server" computing.

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