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NEW YORK – 2004 marks a change in U.S. retail financial institutions’ IT investment. A recent Datamonitor report, U.S. Retail Banking Technology Spending Strategies, predicts that U.S. retail financial institution IT investments will reach $37.8 billion in 2006, up from $33.5 billion in 2003. Although this growth is still lower than the historical average of around 8%, the report, deems the three year $4.3 billion uptick in IT investment to be significant as it represents a shift in retail financial institution’s strategies. As a result of a slow down in mortgage origination and deposit growth, both key sources of revenue in 2003, 2004 marks a change in IT investment, to utilize IT for both revenue generation and cost reduction initiatives. In particular, IT strategies are being centered on improving the effectiveness of IT investment that supports business growth opportunities as well as optimizing the efficiency of that investment. Plans include increasing the IT investment in infrastructure, regulatory compliance, core systems, branch renewal, and Check 21 enablement, each of which promote alignment with overall business strategy of improved growth.

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