The Financial Services Roundtable recently released its annual tome that quantifies the state of the industry - including what the group dubbed "a host of new material to shed light on the challenging environment," including trends on insolvent banks, expanded information on mortgage defaults and detailed TARP information.

Much of the data, from a variety of sources, suffers from the reality that in this environment any numbers more than three months old may be irrelevant. Still, technology trends highlighted in the data are valuable in gauging long-term market shifts.

In what might be the biggest surprise, bank IT spending in North America grew about three percent in 2008, Celent estimates, but growth is expected to slow to 1.7 percent in 2009. "Spending on post-merger integration work, and the fact that maintenance takes up three-quarters of the budget are keeping things pretty much on track," says senior Celent analyst Jacob Jegher.

On the commercial side of the house, NACHA data tracking ACH payments found transaction value topped $36 trillion in 2007 and volume hit 18 trillion transactions.

And in the branch, a chart from ATM & Debit News (a BTN sister publication) reveals the total number of ATMs in production fell by almost 10,000 in 2008, but transaction volume hit 979 million, the highest its been since slipping under a billion in 2002.

To download the entire 243-page Fact Book visit www.fsround.org.

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