Swinton's IT director Adrian Hazeldine said the move would give the company "a solid infrastructure for the future" and enable it to deploy browser-based applications and content, including a staff intranet and an internal e-mail system.
Hazeldine said replacing its 10-year-old green-screen terminals with thin client terminals was cost-effective both to manage and support and offered rapid deployment.
"The support and maintenance costs involved in putting PCs in all the branches would have been prohibitive and keeping them up to date a major chore," he said. "The thin client option is a good compromise. It is also a more secure environment."
Swinton eventually plans to move all its data onto servers. "It is about de-risking the process," said Hazeldine.
The company has bought 1,500 Windows-based thin client terminals from Wyse and a wide area network from BT to link its 320 branches to its head office in Manchester. It has also upgraded its branch servers and cabling infrastructure.