Two compliance product companies have merged, forming a business with a dual focus on demographics and the environment.

DataMap Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., a software company that helps banks comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, has combined forces with Vista Environmental Information Inc., San Diego, which provides data on contaminated land.

The new company, to be called Vista Information Solutions Inc., will have offices in both San Diego and Eden Prairie.

Although Vista is the larger company, bankers might be more familiar with DataMap's geocoding products. While DataMap sells its own products, it also has marketing deals with other technology companies.

Compliance software giant Bankers Systems Inc. of St. Cloud, Minn., for example, uses DataMap technology in its CRA product, Census Traks Plus.

Bankers have used Vista to help determine their environmental liability.

The banking industry has been especially uncertain about its responsibility for cleanup of contaminated land since a rule protecting lenders was overturned last year.

Superfund reform may make that liability clearer, but progress on that legislation has been slow in coming.

The merger is expected to expand both companies' bank customer base by offering more products.

"The integration of our capabilities enables us to provide more comprehensive services to our customers," said Thomas Gay, president and chief executive of the new company. Mr. Gay had held those titles at Vista Environmental Information.

"(The merger) will provide easier access to our products by our customers, while reducing operating costs within the company," Mr. Gay said.

DataMap has about 750 bank customers; Vista has about 250. In addition to an endorsement by the American Bankers Association, Vista is officially supported by 15 state banking associations.

Don Coley, vice president of marketing at Vista, said that merging the extensive data bases of the two companies will make the new entity a leader in information technology.

"Both companies' technologies and applications offer a great deal of potential for us as we come together," Mr. Coley said.

Vista plans to unveil several new compliance products in the coming year, although Mr. Coley would not provide any specifics.

Shareholders of the company will meet in May to officially approve the new company's name.

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