Two Southern California community banks have teamed up to form a subsidiary that will offer computer consulting to other financial institutions.

Financial Data Solutions Inc. is the brainchild of Southwest Community Bank, a $13 million-asset bank based in Encinitas. Southwest will split the revenue generated by Financial Data with Business Bank of California, a $173 million-asset bank based in San Bernardino that recently purchased a 49% stake in Financial Data Solutions.

The company will market item processing, computer network consulting, and Web site development services to banks and credit unions nationwide.

The demand for such services, the company says, is substantial.

"While we have not yet commenced a full-scale marketing effort, we have already received a number of unsolicited calls from institutions" interested in using Financial Data, said Frank J. Mercardante, Southwest's president, chairman, and chief executive officer.

He said year-2000 worries and frustration with current vendors are the primary reasons banks are interested in the new subsidiary. Two banks are scheduled to convert to Financial Data systems in January, and several more are expected during the first quarter, he said.

Mr. Mercardante said that selling part of the subsidiary to Business Bank was "not part of our initial plans." However, he said he is upbeat about the partnership.

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