WASHINGTON — Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Chief Counsel Julie L. Williams said Thursday that banks should market individual products and services to compete better with nonbanks.

“A view of the banking business as divisible into component pieces enables banks to play to their strengths; to commit resources to the particular processes they do best, where they have a comparative advantage, and to gain access to skills, expertise, and products that they need, without having to develop them in-house,” Ms. Williams said at an electronic commerce conference. “If banks’ competitors gain advantages by ‘cherry-picking’ segments of their banking business, why shouldn’t banks do the same to themselves?”

One bank particularly adept at loan servicing could sell that product to other businesses, she explained.

“A bank’s advantage in conducting an activity itself may come from economies of scale, its particular competence, or attributes that distinguish it from other providers of the same product or service,” Ms. Williams said.

Examples of such “deconstruction” of bank services, she said, can already be seen in banks’ partnerships with third parties to perform services and acting as “finders” in bringing together buyers and sellers on their Web sites.

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