MARY K. STERN Executive vice president, Society National Bank
There will be a growing importance as the bank mutual fund market develops on the retail side.
I like to think of the process as two steps. The sales process through banks will be "high touch."
In other words, there will be a high level of customer interface with trained, educated people for the sale.
As for the service level, while it will be equally high, it will be a more high-tech type of delivery.
Customers are going to demand the convenience of ATM access to mutual funds as they purchase them through the bank channel.
CHRISTOPHER MAXWELL Executive vice president Keycorp Albany, N.Y.
I'm strongly in favor of ATM access for mutual fund transactions and information. The concept promotes an increase in savings that is beneficial to the economy.
ATMs are also a significant convenience for the consumer. But I think it's important that the use of ATMs not interfere with the full disclosure requirements that are manifested through prospectuses.
I don't think initial mutual fund purchases through ATMs are appropriate. because these funds must be accompanied by a prospectus. But subsequent adjustments and purchases, such as moving money from one fund to another, could easily be accommodated this way.
RICHARD S. WHITE Senior executive vice president Premier Bank Baton Rouge, La.
There is a place for ATMs in this area. but we haven't fully thought out all the implications.
Certainly every time you sell securities, there are all types of rules and regulations. Prospectuses and very definite kinds of financial information need to be passed to the purchaser at the initial sale.
In sale and in consulting-type situations, it would be hard to work in an ATM environment and still comply with all the rules and regulations. But once the sale has been made and an account has been set up, there may be a role for ATMs in making additions or deletions.
But I think much of that kind of transaction activity can best be handed with the 1-800 number on the telephone.