Magazine article American Banker

First Maryland Upgrading Branch System

Magazine article American Banker

First Maryland Upgrading Branch System

Article excerpt

By MATT BARTHEL

On the heels of its best financial results in several years, First Maryland Bancorp. is aggressively investing in technology for its branches.

The Baltimore-based bank holding, a subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks PLC, has laid out more than $12 million over six months to upgrade the systems that inform tellers and platform staff about bank customers.

"Core banking applications and a focus on expanding our relationships with existing customers have been at the heart of our recent performance," said Charles E. Siegmann, chief information officer at First National Bank of Maryland.

"The branches are the front lines of those efforts," said Mr. Siegmann, a First National senior vice president. "We want to equip our personnel with the best tools possible."

Extra Spending Money

Officials at the $9 billion-asset holding company said the bank's recent performance made it a little easier to find money for new projects.

For the first quarter of this year, First Maryland reported net income of $20 million, 9396 more than during the same period in 1991. In addition, the bank has shown marked improvements in return on assets.

The technology initiative began a few months before the most recent earnings were announced. The main elements are replacing an antiquated platform and teller system with personal computers while upgrading the central customerinformation system on the bank's mainframe.

Lower Unit Costs

International Business Machines Corp. …

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