New Investments Urged In MortgageTechnology

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LAS VEGAS - (10/12/05) -- Credit unions must invest money inmortgage technology to combat recent efforts by banks and othercompetitors, according to Craig Focardi, research director for theconsumer lending advisory service of the Tower Group, a Needham,Mass.-based financial services industry consultancy. Focardicautioned attendees of the American Credit Union MortgageAssociation (ACUMA) conference here banks not only are spending tokeep mortgage loans from credit unions, they are using theestablished relationship to take away the auto and home equityloans that have been mainstays of credit unions. "A proactiveinvestment in technology is not just another expense ? it couldimprove internal processes, save money and give faster service tomembers. IT [information technology] adds a lot of value for creditunions and their members," Focardi declared. "Having a strongonline presence will help a credit union hold on to more members.There is an opportunity cost of lost sales and cost savings from anunderinvestment in IT."

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