The research firm Global Concepts Inc. said membership in its Financial Services Internet Forum has grown to 42.

The group includes 26 banks, among them Banc One Corp., BankBoston Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank, First Union National Bank, Toronto Dominion Bank, and Wachovia Bank.

The research and discussion forum is a year and a half old, and Global Concepts said its health reflects the financial industry's interest and strategic intent in on-line services.

"Banks look to the Internet forum as an escape from trade show fluff," said David C. Stewart, director of the program. "This is a real network of colleagues who share openly with one another their experiences in implementing Internet banking."

Technology vendors such as Cybercash Inc., Fiserv Inc., International Business Machines Corp., and Meca Software LLC also participate, but the ground rules prohibit sales presentations.

Mr. Stewart said he expects the group to get larger before the first meeting of the 1998-99 program year, April 29 in Washington. The last 1997- 98 meeting is Feb. 18-20 in Atlanta.

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