Bank of N.Y. Does a Quick Change: Converts Data for Acquired Barclays Units in 2 Days

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Converts Data for Acquired Barclays Units in 2 Days

Fighting bad weather, Bank of New York Co. successfully completed the conversion of all the branches it acquired from Barclays Bank PLC to its own computer systems last week.

The conversion took place during a storm that battered the New York metropolitan area on the weekend after the merger became official.

The storm's extensive flooding caused many banks to reduce or move operations, but the Bank of New York conversion was completed in a little over 48 hours.

The acquisition of the 62 Barclays branches, effective Dec. 11, brought Bank of New York's total to 291. Bank officials said they expected more than $38 million of annual savings.

Some Staff Cuts Made

Bank of New York made job offers to about 800 Barclays employees and ended up keeping about 720. Neither Barclays nor Bank of New York would disclose how many people had been employed in the branches before the merger.

Bank of New York converted 250,000 accounts for 132,000 Barclays customers. On Monday, Dec. 14, all the Barclays branches opened as Bank of New York offices.

Bank of New York officials said their experience in quickly merging the Irving Trust Co. and Bank of New York systems enabled them to convert the Barclays operation in two days.

Some Trucks Stranded

The advantage to fast conversion, said Richard D. Field, senior executive vice president, branch banking: "We immediately made available all products to our customers, without forcing them to wait a single business day. And we could immediately maximize the cost efficiencies from eliminating one technology infrastructure. …