Revolutionary changes are occurring in retail banking. Mellon Bank's recent acquisition of Dreyfus is just one visible indication. Interstate banking and increased product powers will accelerate the revolution's pace.
Banks are making fundamental changes in the ways they serve retail customers. As risk-adjusted margins in traditional commercial lending erode, the retail business is emerging as a highly profitable, risk-adjusted, return-on-equity engine. Individual customers, once viewed merely as low-cost providers of funds, are now being courted with a wide array of investment, credit, and insurance products.