It is pointed out that one of the main effects of correlation phenomena in d- and f-bands is to give rise to behaviour characteristic of the atomic or Heitler-London model. To investigate this situation a simple, approximate model for the interaction of electrons in narrow energy bands is introduced. The results of applying the Hartree-Fock approximation to this model are examined. Using a Green function technique an approximate solution of the correlation problem for this model is obtained. This solution has the property of reducing to the exact atomic solution in the appropriate limit and to the ordinary uncorrelated band picture in the opposite limit. The condition for ferromagnetism of this solution is discussed. To clarify the physical meaning of the solution a two-electron example is examined.