NationsBank, in a move to restructure the way it delivers some cash management services, has agreed to refer customer requests for float studies to Sagner/Marx Inc., a Chicago-based consulting firm.

Float studies are quantitative analysis tools that are used to examine a corporation's accounts-receivables collection and disbursement processes.

For many years, banks performed these studies for their largest clients, often charging little or no fee. The studies were used to identify the customer's lockbox and controlled disbursement needs.

According to Larry Marx, president of Sagner/Marx, in recent years most banks have stopped offering this service because the analysis is too time-consuming and expensive

Considerable Savings

"The studies can result in significant savings for the customer, but they are extremely costly and highly specialized services for banks to provide," he said.

"Banks have to make strategic decisions as to where to deploy their expertise and people," said Edward Sykes, senior vice president at NationsBank. "We're no longer performing float studies, so having a credible third party to refer customers to is important."

Sagner/Marx specializes in cash management and treasury consulting services. The firm has entered into over 20 agreements with banks that no longer perform float studies but want to refer their clients to a firm that does.

Mr. Marx said the Saner/Marx studies often include recommendations on which banking products and services a corporate customer should use to be more profitable.

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