After the deepest economic and industry downturn since the Great Depression, banks are now dealing with a “new normal” characterized by increasingly tight interest margins, sluggish economic growth, intensified competition, and increased regulatory pressures and compliance costs. To survive and make money, community financial institutions must become more efficient. There’s a critical need to increase bank efficiency ratios by finding new sources of non-interest income and reducing non-interests expense. Unbeknownst to most community bankers, core banking and ancillary IT services represent one of the more promising and risk-free sources of improved cost efficiency. The Business Performance Innovation Network is working with leading analyst and consulting firms serving the community financial sector to demonstrate how much these institutions can save when they restructure current contracts with their core service and IT vendors based on a national market values for these services. The level of savings and their impact on bank efficiency will surprise many bankers.