KeyCorp is testing a comprehensive system to help bankers sell an array of credit products.

The Albany, N.Y.-based banking company plans to roll out the system to its eight affiliates beginning early next year, officials said.

The project, called Vision 2001, already two years in the making, will cost KeyCorp $15 million to $20 million by the time it is fully installed at the end of 1993.

KeyCorp executives said they expected the system to save at least $45 million over the next three to five years.

Accessible from a PC

Vision 2001 will enable a branch banker - using a personal computer linked to the bank's International Business Machines Corp. mainframe computers - to enter new loan information, draw on credit scoring data, and forward the credit application to the appropriate manager.

Using electronic links to other KeyCorp systems, including its existing branch automation system, a banker will be able to view the full array of a customer's accounts.

Keycorp executives said the Vision 2001 system was needed to help the $24 billion-asset banking company to bring new loan products to market quickly across its far-flung branch network.

Risk of Losing the Edge

"The cost savings must be weighed against the potential risk if you fail to stay at the leading edge of being able to deliver banking products to your customer base," said Michael P. Quinn, project manager for Vision 2001.

Vision 2001 has five major software components: processing consumer loan applications; servicing commercial, consumer, and student loans; and loan recovery. Mr. Quinn declined to identify what vendors the bank is working with.

KeyCorp plans to stay with a manual process for originating commercial loans until the available automated systems are more sophisticated, Mr. Quinn said.

The project will enable bankers to see the full range of a customer's relationship through links with a new branch automation system the bank finished installing early this year. Vision 2001 will also have links to systems processing residential mortgages and credit card accounts by the end of 1993, Mr. Quinn said.

"We believe we will be able to provide our customer service units with more accurate, more consistent, more current, and broader interrelated financial information," Mr. Quinn said.

No Need for Special Forms

Later this year, KeyCorp branches will be able to print loan documentation on laser printers, eliminating the need for special forms. Ultimately, KeyCorp plans to install an image capture system that will do away with moving massive amounts of paper to various departments within the bank.

The consumer loan origination system is now being tested in KeyCorp's Maine affiliate, and will be installed at its other seven banks across the country beginning next February.

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