Prognosis Dismal for 'Pure' Net Banks

- Online banking is not an optional channel, it's "a

competitive necessity," according to a new report from Meridien Research. Still, the financial powerhouses of the future could be traditional banks, according to researchers for the Newton, MA-based firm. "Pure online banks are beginning to look like failed dreams," analysts Christine Barry and Jennifer Schmidt write in the report. "Despite offering high interest rates and low fees, they haven't flourished because today's consumers are looking for greater convenience as well as value-added services from their institutions."

Everbank Hits the Small Screen

- Internet-only bank Everbank, a division of Wilmington Savings Fund Society, will be featured in an upcoming documentary in Japan about branchless banks emerging in that country, like Sony Bank. Everbank was the only U.S. bank selected for the hourlong program which will air on Japan's NHK public television station. The show's producers chose Everbank because of what they felt was its rapid growth and high level of customer service.

ATM Fee-Free Zone Expands

- Privileged Status, an alliance of fee-free ATMs, has reached a record 1,118 ATM locations, the organization says. This selective surcharge program is available to participants of the Shazam network of ATMs. The alliance allows cardholders of member community financial institutions to access the ATMs of other program participants free of surcharges.

CUNA Joins BITS

- The Credit Union National Association was admitted as a member of BITS, the technology arm of the Financial Services Roundtable. BITS addresses emerging issues in financial services technology and e- commerce. Membership in BITS is a big step for CUNA as credit unions struggle to keep abreast of the newest financial technologies, according to Daniel Mica, CUNA's president and chief executive officer. The group is entitled to nominate one person to the BITS council as a representative.

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