The Bank Administration Institute's 1996 compliance conference, which begins Monday in Orlando, features a heavy dose of technology in addition to more traditional topics.

The three-day event includes seminars on future compliance and risk management issues; hints from regulators, consultants, and bankers on how best to comply with various rules; and new software products. About 300 people are expected to attend the "Anticipating Change to Capitalize on Opportunities" conference.

William M. Randle, senior vice president at Huntington Bancshares, Columbus, Ohio, hopes to start teaching bankers how to take advantage of technological innovations during his Monday morning speech.

Every aspect of the business will be altered by technology in the next five years, he said, but bankers at all levels have been slow to prepare.

The focus of Mr. Randle's speech, "The New World of Electronic Banking," is compliance for smart cards, Internet banking, and other still-evolving technologies.

"In general, banks are a bit behind the curve because there have been so many changes," said Mr. Randle, who is Huntington's director of marketing and strategic planning. "The whole Internet phenomenon caught everyone by surprise. With the acquisition of PCs by the public, and the rise of the Internet, things are moving quickly."

Bankers need to wake up, agreed BAI executive vice president Raymond F. Hodgdon.

"The future of regulation is going to involve a bigger emphasis on risk management and electronic banking," he said. "So we planned the conference accordingly."

First-day sessions include seminars on alternative delivery systems and on retail banking on the Internet. Later events are to feature a debate on risk management in 2010 and a speech about how to avoid being robbed on the information superhighway.

The conference will feature an address on the future of banking by First Chicago NBD chairman Richard L. Thomas, who will discuss recent regulatory changes and the role of technology in the industry.

The conference, of course, tackles more than just technology. Three workshops are to address day-to-day compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, Truth-in-Lending Act, and fair-lending laws.

Other events will address the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and explain new anti-money-laundering rules.

Tuesday, Jerry L. Jordan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will speak on the future of bank supervision. Real estate lending, telemarketing, and flood insurance rules also will be examined. Bankers will be able to quiz regulators directly during a no-holds-barred discussion.

But the focus of the conference is giving bankers an idea of what the future may hold.

"Things are going to look quite a bit different in the next five years," Mr. Randle said. "And banks have to be ready for it."

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