Bankers Trust New York Corp. has started to offer its own in-house trust and custody accounting software to other banks, the latest in a recent string of such offerings through its growing services unit.
The New York-based bank holding company has used this system, called BT Word, to provide trust services to other banks. But now Bankers Trust, known for its formidable trust operation, is providing BT World to other banking rivals to implement and offer information to their own clients directly.
Wilmington Trust Co., a $4.6 billion-asset operation and the first customer for BT Word, has already begun to install the new software, which leverages the powerful Bankers Trust name and several years of proven usage at the bank itself. BT Financial Services Information Systems Corp., the seven-year-old services arm of Bankers Trust, is supplying the software, although it has only recently started to broaden its product offerings and capitalize on its well-known parent. (See related story below.)
"Bankers Trust has a strong solution," said William Farrell, the senior vice president for trust operations and systems at Wilmington Trust. "Why reinvent the wheel?"
BT World provides a relational database allows the user to access the information through Windows - custom;zing it along chosen parameters - and draw it into an Excel spreadsheet program. Wilmington Trust, as a customer of Bankers Trust services for more than 20 years, saw this software as a logical piece in the current redesign of its own trust system.
BT Word took its lead for the user-friendly front end, the presentation into Excel and various other features based on the practical needs of trust executives, according to Eileen Changsut, the vice president in charge of trust systems for the BTFSIS. Ms. Changsut herself moved to Bankers Trust's service subsidiary in May of this year after working for four years in the bank's trust products area. These user-conscious functions allow the trust managers to "get more information from less data," she said. This competitive edge, as Bankers Trust and Wilmington Trust see it, is very valuable if not necessary in today's marketplace. "The customers are becoming more and more sophisticated," said Charlie King, the media and investor relations director at Wilmington Trust.
"Our systems and delivery have to keep up."