Magazine article American Banker

Banks Urged to Ratchet Up Interactively

Magazine article American Banker

Banks Urged to Ratchet Up Interactively

Article excerpt

A top banking analyst, speaking here last week, lauded the cutting-edge efforts of some banks and encouraged the industry as a whole to "radically reengineer" through technology.

In his keynote address at Bank Administration Institute's home- based financial services conference, Thomas K. Brown of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette highlighted the value of interactive financial services in improving banks' overall value to shareholders as well as consumers.

He implored banks to make greater use of new data base marketing applications and alternative delivery channels to better understand and reach customers.

Mr. Brown said that bankers are "witnessing a period of historical change as the banking industry becomes a financial services industry."

But the analyst said that bankers still have hard work ahead if they intend to survive in this environment of transition and consolidation.

"The companies that don't change dramatically over the next five years will look very much like (Microsoft Corp. chairman) Bill Gates' dinosaurs ... very much like savings and loans look today," he said.

Mr. Brown pointed to several factors precipitating this sea change: modest growth coupled with low inflation; the aging and better-educated population; and, perhaps most important, the new retailing environment being bred by the rapid development and dropping cost of consumer hardware and software.

But from there, Mr. Brown, ranked the top industry analyst in a recent American Banker survey of bank executives, went on to detail the leaner, faster, more targeted operations that banks need to become in order to compete in this new market. …

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