Did computers balk at merger? Shutdown greets ex-MNC workers


Was it a "computer glitch," or something more sinister?

Employees in parts of MNC Financial Inc. -- make that NationsBank Corp. -- arrived at work yesterday to find their computers were down, leaving them unable to access customer account information and perform other functions, including some types of transfers between accounts.

And callers to the company's automated telephone system were greeted by a recording that suggested they call later for account information.

The timing of the computer problems, coming the same day as MNC's acquisition by NationsBank Corp., of Charlotte, N.C., did not escape the company's notice.

"There were some computer problems having nothing to do with the merger," insisted spokesman Daniel Finney.

MNC's head of information services told Mr. Finney that the cause was a "hardware malfunction" affecting something called the "central information file," which holds information on various types of retail accounts, Mr. Finney said.

But the word among some employees was that a disgruntled worker, told in advance of his pending layoff, might have decided to leave his mark on the place, however briefly. By the end of the day, most of the affected systems were back on line.

Mr. Finney said no "official" meetings have been held so far to notify employees of layoffs, and dismissed the sabotage angle as merely a rumor.

"These things happen," he said.

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