Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

If at First You Don't Succeed ... a Missouri Bank's DP Story

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

If at First You Don't Succeed ... a Missouri Bank's DP Story

Article excerpt

If data processing choices ultimately boil down to running an in-house computer shop or farming operations out to a third party, then Frank Ziegler, Jr., executive vice-president of Lemay Bank and Trust Co., St. Louis (County), Mo., is well acquainted with both approaches. The $400 million-assets bank has alternated between the two options three times over 26 years.

In 1967, the bank hired the service bureau arm of First National Bank of St. Louis (now Boatmen's Bank).

Four years later, the bank switched to an in-house mainframe system running programs from Florida Software. That arrangement lasted until 1985.

Then the outsourcing arm of a northeastern regional bank won the day. That plan worked through 1989. Finally, the bank decided to bring data processing back in-house and purchased an IBM AS/400. The midrange computer runs the Liberty Banking System, from Broadway & Seymour, Charlotte, N.C.

Programmer expense

"When we were in-house the first time, the board of directors and senior management developed the opinion that we were at the programmers' mercy," recalls Ziegler, "because we needed their technical expertise." What's more, the programmers' higher salaries threw the other employees' pay |out of sync,' notes Ziegler. "That was the reason we went back to the service bureau environment with the northeastern bank. …

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