With the year 2000 looming and an aging, 25-year-old legacy system burden, Wachovia Bank needed a new, more advanced loan servicing system fast. Conversion was far too costly. So it turned to American Management Systems (AMS) of Fairfax, VA, a provider of loan decisioning products to the nation's biggest banks, for a new loan servicing platform designed to give Wachovia greater flexibility in adding new products.

Atlanta and Winston-Salem, NC-based Wachovia, the country's 20th largest bank with assets of $48.5 billion, chose AMS's advanced consumer lending system (ACLS), a real-time loan servicing system within an IBM mainframe. Designed for very large financial institutions, it processes all retail term loan and revolving credit products. "We are trying to position ourselves operationally to accommodate any product line or service, including using the Internet," says Conway Shough, Wachovia's head of credit operations.

Nicholas Bradick, vp and group manager of AMS's southeast/mid-Atlantic financial services, says the system is able to process over one million accounts within a 24-hour period. The system's architecture is flexible with more than 40 interfaces. "A bank can create sophisticated, multiple rate tiers, providing one line for auto loans with different payment and interest rates, another line for college loans with separate rates, and so on," he says.

ACLS is 20 percent software based and 80 percent consultant driven with AMS personnel maintaining an ongoing relationship with each client. "We normally work with our clients on a long-term basis," says Carolyn Fairbank, senior principal in AMS's finance industry group.

ACLS will prepare Wachovia for massive loan sales over the Internet. AMS and Bank of Montreal already have successfully co-developed a mortgage lending service that can render on-line decisions in seconds.

-peterson tfn.com

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