The banking industry, looking to increase its role as a distributor of health care savings accounts, has formed a new group to work toward that goal.[@@]

The American Bankers Association and the American Bankers Insurance Association, Washington, today announced the formation of the HSA Council, a consortium of banks, insurers and technology companies working to increase the distribution of HSAs through banks.

“As the number of Americans choosing HSAs increases, demand for the flexible, integrated tools necessary to manage HSA accounts will increase with it,” says E. Craig Keohan, chairman of the HSA Council. “Banks are in a unique position to assist consumers in their efforts to save for their future medical needs now and through retirement.”

Keohan is president of First Horizon Msaver, a division of First Horizon National Corporation, Memphis, Tenn.

Other members of the council include Bank of America senior vice president Justin Raniszeski, Assurant Health vice president Peter Bacon, UMB president of health care services Dennis Triplett and Amisys Synertech Inc. senior vice president Craig Combs.

The HSA Council will work to identify problems in the distribution of HSA products and work with members of Congress and the administration to increase the take-up of HSAs.

“We have identified some technological and regulatory hurdles for banks entering the HSA market,” says Kevin McKechnie, ABIA’s associate director and staff director for the HSA Council. “The HSA Council has brought them to the attention of the administration, and we are very pleased that the administration is open to addressing our concerns.”