In 1996, U.S. financial institutions, including banks, securities firms and insurance companies, spent a staggering $45 billion on information technology. This amount continues to grow at about seven percent annually, and in 1998, IT spending in the financial services industry is set to exceed $50 billion for the first time. Since technology investments began to accelerate in the 1960s and 1970s, a total of over half a trillion dollars has been spent by U.S. financial institutions on developing, maintaining and enhancing their computer systems.

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