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The Wallet

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According to a study prepared by the William Mills Agency, Atlanta, the effects of the credit slowdown that started in 2007 and picked up steam in 2008 were compounded by a sharp increase in unemployment in 2009. The result was higher defaults for mortgages and other types of credit, tightened credit terms and conservative spending that scrapped many technology and other projects that had been on the books. In a February 2009 survey of community banks, Aite Group found that 41% of community banks expected to increase their technology spending from 2008. Bill Bradway, founder and managing director of Bradway Research LLC, Boston, expects more bank closures in 2010 than there were in 2009. Institutions that are on the cusp of closure will be unlikely to spend on technology in an effort to stay solvent, he said. According to Aite Group, reducing the use of professional IT services vendors will be very important to 15% of banks and somewhat important to 58% of them.

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