Chase Manhattan Bank is using client-server technology in an ambitious project aimed at simplifying the arcane business of international trade finance.

Chase is developing a number of advanced systems in which information is distributed across a network. But it is among the first banks to build a distributed system that is international in scope, one that ultimately will allow bankers in New York, London, or Hong Kong to originate letters of credit on the same network and to view documents no matter where they are located. The new software is tied to a major redesign of business processes aimed at creating standard procedures for handling letters of credit across the globe. Chase currently operates multiple systems to originate and track the documents. Currently under development by teams of programmers in New York and in Hong Kong, the software will be rolled out first to Chase's Hong Kong offices in the second quarter.

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