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2010 ICBA Technology Survey: Community Banks Remain Committed to Protecting Their Customers

Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2010)-The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), which released its 2010 Community Bank Technology Survey today, said that community banks continue to be committed to protecting bank and customer data, despite managing increased regulation and cost strains.

"As relationship-centered bankers that take pride in serving the needs of their customers, it's no surprise that our nation's nearly 8,000 community banks view protecting their customers' personal information as a key long-term objective and continue to invest in ways to further protect their sensitive financial data," said Viveca Ware, ICBA senior vice president of regulatory policy. "The 2010 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey demonstrates that even during this critical and challenging time, community banks continue to embrace technological developments to improve customer security and convenience."

According to the ICBA biennial survey, 63 percent of respondents said they regard identity theft as a top data security concern, with many community banks expecting to increase security spending by 50 percent and risk management expenditures by 49 percent. The top data security concerns are consumer identity theft at 72 percent, followed by virus attacks at 57 percent, phishing/pharming schemes at 53 percent, business identity theft at 46 percent, hacker attacks at 45 percent and business-account password compromise at 40 percent. 

The survey also found that regulatory compliance and controlling technology costs are the top two technology concerns for community banks.  Eighty-two percent of community banks cited regulatory compliance as a leading technology concern, and 60 percent said they plan to increase compliance spending over the next two years.  Additionally, while 76 percent cited controlling cost as a long-term technology challenge in the next two years-a 16 percentage point increase from 2008-an overall commitment to technology spending remains.  In fact, 43 percent say that they will increase their technology budget, 39 percent will keep their technology budget the same over last year, and only 12 percent plan to decrease their technology budget.

The survey also found that community banks are ramping up for rapid mobile banking deployment with 47 percent saying that they plan to offer the service in the next 24 months. The top functions offered through mobile banking are account transfers, bill payment and branch/ATM locator applications. 

Online banking adoption rates are on the rise as well.  Ninety-four percent of community bank respondents said that they offer online banking, which is up 5 percent from 2008. Community banks are having success in their efforts to encourage consumer adoption of these services with 56 percent of respondents noting that over 20 percent of customers are enrolled, which is an increase of 16 percent since 2008.

The 2010 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey is sponsored and coordinated by Plante & Moran, PLLC, the nation's 12th largest certified public accounting and business advisory firm which provides a variety of financial and technology services to community banks. The survey, conducted in June 2010, was sent to 7,583 community banks and generated 895 unique bank responses, nearly 12 percent.

To view ICBA's 2010 Community Bank Survey results, click here or visit http://www.icba.org.