Wilmington Savings Fund Society has bought a 25% interest in Customer One Financial Network Inc., a company formed last year by banking and marketing executives to offer an array of services to Internet banking start-ups.
WSFS and Customer One plan to form everbank.com, an Internet banking and brokerage venture that awaits charter approval from the Office of Thrift Supervision. Customer One would supply management, marketing functions, call center support, and Internet site development and maintenance to the proposed bank.
Everbank.com would try to reach people it classifies as "higher-net-worth individuals," a group that includes four million to five million people nationwide. The bank would aim to enroll 4% to 5% of these people as customers.
Frank O. Trotter, chairman and president of Customer One, said everbank.com is "not a mass-market operation."
The service would be marketed separately from WSFS' NetConnect Internet service, which is designed for the Delaware-Pennsylvania market.
In addition to its 25% stake, which cost $5.5 million, WSFS has warrants to buy another 20% of Customer One.