The trust industry is at a crossroads both in terms of opportunities and threats. For banks in recent years, the trust area has achieved new prominence as a way to boost fee income and offer customers a wider range of investment products. Yet the growth of the mutual fund industry - and the keen interest shown by nonbank financial services companies - have resulted in unparalleled competition for trust bankers.
The aging of America and the resultant increase in affluence have opened up the potential market dramatically. For example, some predict that by the year 2000, the United States will have five million more millionaires than it does now. But unless many banks rethink the sales and servicing aspects of the trust business, they will lose out on the vast potential for market growth and increased profits.