Magazine article American Banker

Bank Sector's Woes Aside, Fiserv Is Sounding Bullish

Magazine article American Banker

Bank Sector's Woes Aside, Fiserv Is Sounding Bullish

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Bills

Despite the troubles facing the banking industry, Fiserv Inc. says it's business as usual.

In fact, if there were a wave of failures, the Brookfield, Wis., technology company might even stand to benefit, because there is a good chance its bank clients would gain accounts, Jeffery W. Yabuki, its president and chief executive, said on an earnings call Tuesday.

There is a significant difference between the "brick and mortar" of a financial company and the "accounts and transactions" it contains, Mr. Yabuki said. "We could have accounts switching from institution to institution, but on balance I believe that the net wins will overtake any losses that we would have."

Fiserv also announced that it had a deal to provide core processing for Omaha Financial Holdings, the banking division of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co.

The insurance company entered the banking market last year, and has acquired three banking companies since May of that year. In the past week it added the deposits of two banks regulators closed over the weekend: the $3.4 billion-asset First National Bank of Nevada in Reno and the $250 million-asset First Heritage Bank in Newport Beach, Calif.

Mr. Yabuki said Mutual of Omaha plans to move all of its accounts to Fiserv's CBS Worldwide core platform.

He acknowledged that the credit crisis is having an effect on his company. "We're seeing pressure on discretionary technology license spending among large investment banks and financial institutions."

But the pressure creates an opportunity to sell services to larger companies than Fiserv has historically served, Mr. Yabuki said. "We're in numerous conversations with large institutions to ... to help them reduce costs."

Fiserv gained a sales force that focuses on the top 200 banks when it acquired the Atlanta online bill payment and software firm CheckFree Corp. …

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