NU Online News Service, Dec. 11, 12:01 p.m. – Meridien Research, Anaheim, Calif., predicts retail financial services institutions globally will spend $33.8 billion in 2002 on “strategic technology initiatives, “down from $36 billion in 2001.

Meridien defines strategic technology initiatives investments that will help companies reach new markets.

The financial industry consulting firm predicts that financial institutions in North America will account for 36% of total strategic IT spending, followed by Europe, 33%, and Asia/Pacific, 21%.

Banks will spend 53% of the total; insurers. 18%; securities firms, 18%; and nonbanks, 11%.