Magazine article American Banker

Mercantile Texas, Once Keen on Home Banking, Decides to Wait

Magazine article American Banker

Mercantile Texas, Once Keen on Home Banking, Decides to Wait

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Mercantile Texas Corp., which at one time was enthusiastic about its prospects, has backed away from home banking.

"We have decided to sit on the sidelines, to wait and see what happens in this area," said Douglas Kirk, senior vice president of the subsidiary Affiliated Computer Systems Inc.

In a telephone interview from Dallas, he characterized the home banking field as volatile and turbulent and said:

"We're kind of embarrassed that we once were so bullish. At the same time, we are proud of the fact we had the ability to say we spoke too early and maybe we should take a look at all this. Technology is moving so fast."

Affiliated Computer Systems, or ACS, claims to be the biggest bank data processor. It would have run the home banking system for the Mercantile group.

The Dallas-based Mercantile, which has 26 bank subsidiaries, is the fifth largest bank holding company in Texas and is about to become the second or third largest when a merger with Southwest Bancshares Inc., Houston, is effective.

The consolidated group will adopt the M-logo that Mr. Kirk has become a recognized service mark. The merged holding company will become MCorp. Its lead bank. Mercantile National Bank at Dallas, will become MBank Dallas. There will be an MBank Houston, MBank Fort Worth, and so forth. Affiliated Computer Systems will become MTech.

"About two and a half years ago," Mr. Kirk said, "we were very enthusiastic about the development of an inhome system, mainly because some key players like the phone company and newspapers were eager to get involved. …

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