RC LLC announced recently its development of a Web-based analysis tool that provides instant access to deposit and market data for bank branches nationwide. The tool is available to users of Alex eBanking Solutions.

Based in Orange, CA, the four-year-old SRC's new Branch Analyzer integrates proprietary data from Alex Sheshunoff's Alex eBanking Solutions, as well as market and demographic data from MapInfo DATA. SRC calls the online subscription service the first of its kind and says it adds valuable interactive capabilities to the banking information service's Performance Data reports.

"This is a browser-based application that is able to display to our subscribers considering potential branches, 'Here's where we are and here's where we need to be,'" says Olivia Duane, executive vice president of SRC. "With its interactive capabilities, the Branch Analyzer enhances the user's ability to see who the players are in the targeted market, their performance and the targeted demographics of that market ...."

A year in the making, the Branch Analyzer allows executives of banks, credit unions and thrifts to gather quickly the data necessary for decisions on branch placement. SRC believes it will be especially useful as well in deciding which branches should be retained or closed in the wake of mergers and acquisitions.

Duane notes that subscribers to the service will be able to generate reports and maps for a given geographic area in seconds from their desktops. The service is accessed by logging on to www.alexebanking.com and entering a password.

"Making our branch facts available over the Web gives our users an important and easy-to-access new tool for planning their banking strategy," says Alex Sheshunoff, chief executive officer of Alex Information Solutions LP.

Branch reports list all institutions in a given market and provide current and projected 2004 deposits, historical deposit growth rates and market share for each by branch location, institution and institution type. Locations can be defined using county or zip code.

Branch Analyzer includes a mapping capability as well, enabling subscribers to display user-defined market areas overlaid with branch locations, demographics and several other variables found in a menu. Alex eBanking Solutions initially will charge subscribers $149 per month or $1,495 annually for the service.

Duane says Branch Analyzer will be updated quarterly for bank information and semiannually for demographics, including age, household income and family size, as well as financial assets. To protect against hackers, she says, the information is maintained and scrambled daily by SRC.

An Alex eBanking Solutions spokesman says the Branch Analyzer tool is one of several innovations the company has had "under intensive development" for the past year. Others tools and services are expected to be announced before year's end.

SRC operates www.DemographicsNow.com, an online subscription service providing users with custom market reports and maps on any area of the United States, retrieving the results almost instantly.

The young company also developed MapInfo's TargetPro and Cluster Analyzer, in addition to building custom solutions for clients such as Prudential Securities, Money Mailer Inc. and Gannett Newspapers.

Helyne Klauck, a freelance writer, resides in College Point, NY.

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