Officials with a tiny Pasadena, Calif., compliance consulting firm are hoping to snare more customers with their World Wide Web site.
Triac Co. has jumped out in front of many firms its size by developing a presence on the Internet. The site gives compliance officers immediate access to the company's four consultants, lets bankers connect to the regulatory agencies' sites and industry publications, and hawks the company's products.
"We developed the Web site to help compliance officers who were looking for products and services to make their jobs easier," said Dennis Agle, a marketing specialist who founded Triac in 1991 with his brother, Kenneth, a former examiner at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
"We also wanted to give them a chance to see a company that they may not have heard of before," he said.
The site includes the experts' E-mail addresses, to which bankers can send questions about compliance with consumer regulations, the company's specialty. Triac's consultants respond quickly, and free of charge, Mr. Dennis Agle said.
But Triac also uses the site to pitch its compliance consulting products, which include manuals on the new CRA rules and other key regulations. Mr. Agle said the chance to expand its 50-bank customer base beyond California was a key motivation for creating the site last month.
Jim Bedsole, compliance officer at the Anchor Bank in Myrtle Beach, S.C., said banks benefit from Triac and its peers who venture onto the Internet by getting more options for help on compliance issues.
"The Internet is the great equalizer," Mr. Bedsole said. "It allows smaller firms to compete with the big ones that already have a national presence. It's a way of getting a foot in the door in a big way."
Some larger consulting firms, like Louisville, Ky.-based Professional Bank Services and the Big Six accounting companies, have Internet sites. KPMG Barefoot Marrinan will unveil a compliance-information "hot line" site in September, allowing banks to ask E-mail questions of consultants.
But smaller companies have been slower to jump on the bandwagon, often because of a lack of time or expertise. O. Tom Thomas, president of Thomas Compliance Associates in Chicago, said his company plans to have a site ready in early 1997.
Triac Co.'s Web page can be reached at http://www.triacnet.com.