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MRI: Deposit Rates Vary By Region

SAN ANSELMO, Calif.-Reaction time to national trends in deposit pricing varies drastically by pricing region, according to new analysis from Market Rates Insight.

The consultancy said in the first half of 2010 the national average rate for deposits dropped 0.18%. It took the New Jersey pricing region only four weeks to drop 0.18% in its average rate for deposits, followed by Michigan at 6 weeks, Pennsylvania at 13, Virginia 17, and Oregon at 19 weeks.

On the other hand the pricing regions that did not follow the national trend in declining rates for deposits were Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Montana. These five pricing regions had minimal or no change in their average rate for deposit during the first half of 2010 despite the decline in the national average. MRI said the top five pricing regions in reaction time are also those that experienced the greatest drop in deposit rates during the first half of 2010.

"These findings are an indication of the diversity of the deposit market," said Dan Geller, EVP at Market Rates Insight. "Clearly, there are advantages to regionalized pricing for deposits, which adapts to the specific conditions in each market."

For info: www.marketratesinsight.com


FIs Find Value In Time Off Programs

KANSAS CITY, Kan.-The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Banking and Finance survey results show financial institutions are turning to time off to reward employees in lieu of raises and other monetary rewards.

"In retaining top employees, many organizations are finding enhancements to time off programs may be a viable alternative to granting pay increases," said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, a pay and benefit survey data provider. "Until effects of the economic recovery can be felt, it will remain important for companies to be creative and make the most of their compensation budgets."

While only half of banking and finance companies allow carryover of vacation days from one year to the next, 95% of those place a limit on the number of days that can be carried over. Compensation Data 2010 Banking and Finance shows exempt employees can carry over up to 19.5 days of vacation, while non-exempt employees are allowed to carry over up to 19.3 days.

For info: www.compdatasurveys.com


'Huge Gap' Cited In Consumer Wealth

NEW YORK-In an environment where financial institutions are scrambling for deposits, the mass affluent sector seems to be severely ignored, according to a new study.

According to Novantas and Calabasas, Calif.-based Informa Research, in a potential pool of more than $5.3 trillion in retirement savings held outside of structured retirement savings plans, banks only hold about $1.6 trillion and are at risk of losing even those deposits.

"The real 'eye-openers' were the findings that revealed how these consumers feel about investing their retirement savings at banks and the likelihood that four in 10 mass affluent households will outlive their money," said Wayne Cutler of Novantas.

"The survey results showed that only 10% of the mass affluent consumers view their bank as a viable solution for retirement investing," said Chad Watkins, manager of market intelligence at Informa Research Services. "Unless financial institutions change this consumer perception, they are at risk of losing these to brokerage and insurance companies." For info: www.informars.com or www.novantas.com


Consumer Cash Management Studied

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Consumers are gravitating toward payment options that provide them more control and allow them to hold on to their money as long as possible, according to the 2010 Billing Household Survey from Fiserv. The surveyed consumers reported increased usage of online, phone, and walk-in payment methods, and 23% said that they change the ways they pay their bills month to month. In addition, consumers indicated that making a payment or viewing a bill are the primary reasons they visit the websites of companies from which they receive services. For info: www.fiserv.com/research-papers.htm

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