CHARLOTTE, N.C. - First Union Corp. this week began taking full advantage of new interstate banking regulations.

Effective immediately, the bank's eight million customers in seven southeastern states can conduct business in any of the bank's offices, regardless of where the home account is held.

The bank had paved the way for interstate business by moving the more than 50 banks it has acquired in the last decade to common computer systems.

Bank officials estimate that about one-third of its customers do business in more than one state.

"We see this as an opportunity to expand and improve our customer service and to offer borderless service from state to state within our region," said John R. Georgius, president of First Union.

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