CHARLOTTE - Bank of America Corp. said on Wednesday it is postponing software conversions at its 1,000 California branches so it can focus resources on other projects.The company now does not expect to have its banking software running in the Golden State until 2001, a delay of at least half a year from the original target date of May 2000. Bank of America said that to meet the original deadline, it would have had to divert resources away from projects such as Internet banking, a customer service initiative, and next year's advertising campaign. The bank still intends to replace branch signage and computer hardware in 2000.

R. Jay Tejera, with Ragen MacKenzie Inc. in Seattle, expressed disappointment, saying that the system at California branches is "surprisingly inefficient and unprofitable. I believe investors are looking forward to seeing the new system in place as soon as possible."

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