Merrill Lynch chief executive Stan O'Neal says the investment bank should accelerate its investment in online banking and cash management capabilities.
Speaking at Merrill's banking and finanial services conference in new York, O'Neal said the bank is weighing up the pros and cons of small acquissitions versus third party partnerships or organic growth in its technology operations as it looks to grow its deposit base.
"I would like to see us have a stronger online banking capability, stronger transactional capability," he says. "We could improve our cash management for small and medium-size businesses."
Advances in these areas would help the bank cement relationships with customers, he says, and lead to new funds inflows.
He says the bank has yet to define a third party strategy capable of improving on its home-grown technology investments.