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Structural Change in the U.S. Banking Industry: The Role of Information Technology

Commercial bank investment in information technology (IT) equipment has grown rapidly, from $104 million in 1960 to more than $10 billion in 1994. These investments in “hard” technologies (computer hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, etc.) have been accompanied by increases in "soft" technologies, for example, complex financial innovations that were infeasible on a large scale without IT hardware. These developments, together with deregulation, are creating new competitors, new financial markets and instruments, and a new role for commercial banks as providers of financial services.

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