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Few companies were hit as hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as American Airlines. The damage to its credit ratings thrust American into greater dependence on bank borrowings and ultimately will result in a realignment of its cash management business this year. It’s an extreme case of a major trend in cash management.

“Until now, we would shop for the best cash management services,” explains Tony Matteo, manager of domestic banking at the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier. “If two banks were equally able and efficient, we might favor the bank in our credit group. Sept. 11 changed all that. It shook up our entire industry and changed our corporate culture. We’ll be changing cash management banks in 2002 to reward the banks that stuck with us on credit.”

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