Back in the 1990’s I was working in the IT department of BMO Nesbitt Burns and before that the stock brokerage of Burns Fry Limited. At a time when most banks and investment companies were putting out bland and basic monthly statements to their clients, we developed a classy new client statement with a lot of visual appeal.
The key software enabler was a computer program called “Client Statement Formatter” or just CSF. It had been developed by the IT Services devision of M&I Bank. They were a regional US bank, but their IT folks were also providing computing services to many smaller US banks that had no internal IT functions of their own. The CSF product was developed to provide a quick way for M&I to create a unique looking statement for each banking organization it supported. They then realized they had a product with commercial potential that could be sold to other organizations from Investments to Utility companies. Anyone issuing monthly statements.
The whole IT and Data Services part of M&I was setup as a independent company called Metavante in 2007. Probably just as the US banking industry was getting ready to implode!
Anyway, it is interesting that these two parts of my past are coming together as one, sort of. Bank of Montreal announced a takeover of M&I Bank this past week, but really for the Banking business.