Wall Street can be so hard to please. It seems like only yesterday that bank stock analysts had discovered the importance of information technology and began to view systems as a key factor in whether a bank could go it alone or needed to put itself up for sale. Now, a number of top analysts have begun wondering aloud if banks are spending too much on technology, or at least too much on unproven systems.

"When Wachovia says that they are spending $30 million to $40 million to build a customer information file, is that a good investment decision?" asked Thomas K. Brown, an analyst for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., at a recent American Banker roundtable. "Could it be $10 million? Should it be $60 million?".

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