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Heads Up!

A ruling by the Treasury Department allowing banks to underwrite securities, sell real estate, provide technological developments and offer insurance has finally been issued. This last step in the reversal of the Glass-Steagall Act means your duties may diversify even more!

With regard to insurance, some life insurance companies are already working with financial institutions, selling term and long-term-care policies and other products, jointly mailing promotional letters and brochures to a bank's customers, and then following up with contact by insurance agents. The insurance company also trains bank investment representatives to sell such policies. The bankers report that the long-term-care policy has become a popular product among financial planners both in and out of banks.Combined with the advances in conducting transactions online, banking is moving even more rapidly into the next century. Increasing numbers of financial institutions are banding together and endorsing more types of virtual financial transaction programs. In a study from Killen & Associates in California titled "Internet Retail Banking Opportunities; Requirements for Success", it is projected that close to one-third of global retail banking business will shift to electronic delivery platforms by the year 2005.

Of all the service industries in the United States, experts say banks are in an ideal position for electronic delivery of financial services for customers. Because demand deposit accounts are almost exclusively in financial institutions, we can provide the link between our customers and retail business.

But most organizations that supply the technology necessary to do this say that banks should move quickly to cement this position before the industry is displaced by some other entity.

Copyright © 1996 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1/96

First published on 01/01/1996

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