AnyTime Access Inc., a 24-hour call center and loan processing service, is moving beyond its credit union base and marketing its services to community banks nationwide.

So far, seven banks have signed on.

"We have proved the business model works with credit unions and are now expanding to other types of financial clients," said Tom Bollum, president and chief executive officer of AnyTime.

Some bankers hired AnyTime to meet the level of convenience offered by rival credit unions.

"This is an excellent opportunity to steal some of the credit unions' thunder," said Robert Voorhees, vice president, community banking group, at Santa Barbara (Calif.) Bank and Trust. "We are matching a service our competitors are already offering."

Others are beating their competitors to the punch.

Providing loan applications at any hour "will be a real competitive advantage," said Tina A. Silvis, senior vice president of Fed One Bank, Wheeling, W.Va. The $350 million-asset thrift will be the first lender in its market to offer around-the-clock applications.

AnyTime takes calls at a central calling center. It scores the application based on an individual bank's criteria, and provides the consumer with an answer within one hour, Mr. Bollum said.

Because each bank is assigned its own phone number, customers who call hear the name of their bank.

AnyTime processes about 2,000 loan applications a month on behalf of banks. Mr. Bollum said he hopes to handle 40,000 per month by the end of 1998, which would equal the volume generated by his company's 100 credit union clients.

Lew Stone, president of $97 million-asset Goleta (Calif.) National Bank, another new client, said it no choice but to extend its phone hours. Mr. Stone's bank lends in Ohio and Georgia and plans to extend its business into other states.

AnyTime put Goleta "in a position to take calls regardless of time differences," Mr. Stone said.

Banks are charged a fee for each application taken by the AnyTime operators.

"I believe this is cost-justified from the outset," Mr. Voorhees said. "Community banks aren't going to generate the volume needed to support their own call centers."

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