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Read it and weep (if you didn't make the cut), or draw your own conclusions

By Art Gillis I'm not a fan of "Top xxx Lists," except for the American Banker list of the top 25 computer consultants. This week I reviewed the Top 500 Innovators list published by InformationWeek. I wasn't sure what the criteria were until I read the back page where the editor-in-chief made certain these weren't just pedestrian outfits that get the "plenty hard work" done. The publication was "particularly picky about applying the innovator moniker." Following are the names of the 25 bank

By Art Gillis

I'm not a fan of "Top xxx Lists," except for the American Banker list of the top 25 computer consultants. This week I reviewed the Top 500 Innovators list published by InformationWeek. I wasn't sure what the criteria were until I read the back page where the editor-in-chief made certain these weren't just pedestrian outfits that get the "plenty hard work" done. The publication was "particularly picky about applying the innovator moniker." Following are the names of the 25 banks (including near banks) and 9 tech vendors that serve the banking industry.

Banks: AmSouth Bank of America CapitalOne Citigroup Countrywide Discover Fifth Third Bank First Horizon JP Morgan Chase M&T Bank Mellon National City Mortgage Navy Federal Credit Union Northern Trust PNC Financial Services Regions Financial Scotiabank State Street Corp. Synovus TD Banknorth Union Bank of California U.S. Bancorp Visa USA Wachovia Washington Mutual

Tech Vendors included in Automation in Banking that made the IW 500 cut: ACS CheckFree EDS Fidelity National Information Services First Data Corp. SAP America SunGard Data Systems TSYS Unisys

I could have a lot of fun with the list, but one contradiction begs explanation. Northern Trust and Synovus outsource their technology to Metavante. Northern Trust and Synovus were recognized, but Metavante was not. It's a safe bet that Metavante does M&I Bank's work also, but M&I Bank didn't make the cut. Will someone please explain what "innovation" really means?

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