Months of searching finally led Hibernia National Bank to nearby Baton Rouge, La., and a software company that could develop the automated underwriting system for small business the bank was looking for.

So in 1992, the New Orleans-based subsidiary of Hibernia Corp. joined forces with Appro Systems Inc. to produce the software company's 20/20 Small Business Lending System. Designed to speed up the underwriting process, the software was intended to do for Hibernia's newly emphasized small business division what Appro's retail software had done for the bank's consumer business.

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