Nearly three out of four bankers plan to increase their technology expenditures in 2007, according to Chicago-based Grant Thornton's recently released 14th Annual Survey of Bank Executives. But while 84 percent of survey respondents say "enhancing use of technology to improve productivity" is essential to their success, only 58 percent expressed confidence in their ability to do so.
This is the first year that Grant Thornton included the technology-spending question in its survey, says Linda Garvalink, national director of marketing for the accounting, tax and business advisory organization's financial institution's practice. The survey's most important finding, she asserts, is the spread between what bankers think is important and how confident they are in their bank's performance in that specific area. "That's where they'll put their money for technology," Garvalink says.
According to Garvalink, protecting customers' information (96 percent) was the most frequently cited operational imperative for success, followed by assuring the security of Internet services (94 percent) and verifying systems operations (89 percent). However, only 71 percent of respondents say they are comfortable with their ability to protect customer information. Further, fewer than two-thirds of bankers (62 percent) are confident in their ability to assure the security of their Internet services, and only 59 percent say they are confident about their ability to verify systems and control technology risks.
Online Offerings to Increase
Also of note are the services banks say they offer or plan to offer in the next three years, Garvalink says. Currently, 32 percent of bankers say they offer online applications, but 61 percent expect to offer the service by 2010. Remote deposit also will become more common -- 26 percent of bankers currently offer the service and 72 percent expect to offer it by 2010.
A total of 355 CEOs and CFOs from banks with $100 million to $20 billion in assets completed Grant Thornton's questionnaires in October 2006.