THOMAS O. BENNION President and chief executive Southeast Switch Inc. Maitland, Fla. I AM A GREAT BELIEVER that the marketplace dictates what is needed and what isn't. I would have to say that in today's world, the marketplace is suggesting there is a need for both. That is borne out by the fact that just about every major bank in the United States belongs to a regional network. And several of the last holdouts have recently joined.
If you didn't have a regional network setup it would require the national systems to have a much greater presence throughout the country. Regional networks also sponsor a lot of their members in and supply an awful lot of connectivity for the national systems. A lot of regionals are structured differently that the nationals, meaning that the financial institutions are looking for something different, in the sense that a number of them are for profit and (run as) businesses.