IT'S CLEAR that banks' products and services have gotten far better in recent years because of technology investments. But it's also clear that too many banks invest in capacity, often making the most automated lines of business only marginally profitable.

These issues were explored in detail in a 1990 book I co-authored. In "Technology in Banking: Creating Value and Destroying Profits," we argued that technological investment does create value--but for customers, not stockholders.

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