Speer & Associates Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting firm, has hired five electronic banking and bill payment experts.

The staff additions come in response to customer demand for services related to banking by phone and personal computer, the company said.

Francisco Sauza, Richard Brunner, and Donald Dean joined as senior consultants. Joseph Agostino and Kathy LeNoir are vice presidents.

Mr. Sauza, a former Bank of America vice president, will specialize in strategic and tactical planning and profitability analysis. Mr., Brunner, a credit card and consumer lending veteran, will focus on marketing support and delivery system evaluation. Biographical details of the other new hires were not immediately available.

"What we see today is a customer base that is ready to take advantage of electronic bill payment and home banking," said Richard Speer, chairman and chief executive.

The staff additions will help the firm "address those needs and offer the senior-level consulting required so that banking institutions can offer telephone and home banking to their customers effectively and profitably," Mr. Speer said.

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