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NEEDHAM, Mass. – Spending on customer relationship management (CRM) technology may not be as feverish as when the new tools first hit the tech scene, but it’s hardly faded away. Instead, the emphasis on CRM spending in the financial services sector has gone from investing in data stores on customer behavior to ways of integrating channels in delivery of services, according to a new report from TowerGroup. The research and advisory firm estimates global CRM spending in the financial services industry to grow 6.2% a year to $7.1 billion by 2008, compared with a 5.8% growth in overall IT spending in the sector. “The enduring strength of the CRM concept will continue to produce value for financial institutions around the globe in 2004,” said Kathleen Khirallah, senior analyst in the retail banking practice at TowerGroup and author of the research. “The race to acquire, retain, cross-sell and maximize the value of a customer base may have diminished in media visibility, but not in importance to financial institutions,” Khirallah said.

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