Banks have not distinguished themselves in using customer information to obtain a competitive advantage, but neither have most other companies and industries jockeying for position on the Internet, according to the co-author of a best-selling book on Net strategy.

John Hagel 3d, who with McKinsey & Co. colleague Marc Singer wrote "Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules," said at an American Bankers Association conference that the financial industry will probably be one of the first to see the emergence of infomediaries-companies that gather and use information in ways that inform and empower their customers.

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