Banks are forming networks to expand business, services

The ''old boy network'' is taking on a new meaning these days for financial-institution executives. Joining forces in a network can afford both savings and loan (S&L) associations and banks wider coverage, more impact, expanded customer convenience and services, a potential for more business, and lower operating costs.

Among recent financial-network developments:

* California's top five banks are evaluating a proposed statewide credit-card network. Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, and Crocker National Bank (all based in San Francisco) along with Security Pacific National Bank and First Interstate Bank of California (both based in Los Angeles) are considering a computerized system that would allow their card-carrying customers to pay for goods and services with funds transferred immediately to merchants' accounts.

* Four major bank holding companies plan to offer financial-transaction processing nationally via home terminals. The national network, called VideoFinancial Services, is scheduled to begin limited operations next fall in Florida. Founding members are Southeast Banking Corporation, Miami; Wachovia Corporation, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Banc One Corporation, Columbus, Ohio; and Security Pacific Corporation, Los Angeles. Plans call for expansion into other areas of the nation during the next several years.

* The forerunner of a number of wide-area automated-teller-machine (ATM) networks was launched recently when MasterTeller, MasterCard International's shared ATM network, recorded its first coast-to-coast transaction. A cash withdrawal from Maryland Bank was made through an ATM of First Beverly Bank in Beverly Hills, Calif., a member of Instant Teller, a network operated by City National Banking (Beverly Hills), which is part of the MasterTeller program.

* Savings and loan executives met last month in San Diego to discuss Financial American Network. The concept, initiated by Great American Federal Savings & Loan Association in San Diego, calls for pooling of S&L resources to provide commercial and real estate loans, including joint ventures with developers, in an effort to compete with large financial institutions. Potential beneficiaries: companies with annual sales of $50 million or more.

* First Nationwide Network - marketed by Bank Earnings International in Atlanta and owned by FN Financial Corporation in San Franciso, parent of 1st Nationwide Savings - hopes to sign up its first S&L by June in a franchise program. The plan provides for a wide range of services - from earnings analysis to pooled advertising - to S&Ls around the country. While operating under a common name, each participant will retain local ownership and management. It is hoped the network will include 45 to 75 participants by mid-1985.

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