First Union gives shareholders CD-ROM report, Internet link Banking

March 14, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

First Union Corp. is giving its shareholders a free ride into cyberspace.

The nation's sixth-largest banking company yesterday began mailing a high-tech version of its annual report on a CD-ROM computer disk to 200,000 shareholders.

The disk, tucked inside the company's 50-page annual report, brings the report to life with sound, video clips of senior management, data and graphics, and it automatically connects the user to the Internet.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company says it is the first financial services company in the nation to develop such a cutting-edge version of an annual report.

About 12,000 First Union shareholders will receive the report in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., where the company has 750,000 customers and $13 billion in deposits.

Each time a shareholder uses the First Union CD to access the Internet, they land on the company's home page, where consumers can apply for credit cards, home equity and consumer loans and find out more about the bank's services.

The disk contains about 450 pages, and shareholders who use it immediately see full-color pictures of Edward E. Crutchfield, First Union's chairman and chief executive; Anthony P. Terracciano, president; and John R. Georgius, vice chairman.

A shareholder can click on Mr. Crutchfield's picture, and he begins talking about his biggest concern controlling corporate bureaucracy as the company grows.

Shareholders can click on other menus that discuss First Union's history, its culture, geographic span and products.

Company officials said it costs them 75 cents to reproduce each disk compared with $2.25 for each annual report.

Pub Date: 3/14/96

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