The Bank Slate


Zions creates new expense line for tech costs

Zions Bancorp. in Salt Lake City created a new expense line item to break out costs tied to technology, telecom and information processing. 

The $93 billion-asset company disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday that those items had previously resided under the line items for “furniture, equipment and software” and for “other expenses” that included data processing and communications costs. 

Technology, telecom and information processing expenses averaged about 11% of overall noninterest income in 2020 and 2021, based on the filing. Those costs fell by about 3.5% in 2021 from a year earlier, to $192 million. 

“In our opinion, the new presentation of expenses could reflect management confidence in the current technology expense run-rate in the near- and medium-term,” Tim Coffey, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, wrote in a client note.

“We believe technology expenses could increase in the longer-term with greater investment in automation,” Coffey added.
Zions also combined “occupancy” and “furniture, equipment and software” into a single “occupancy and equipment” line item. It renamed “advertising” to “marketing business development” and added things such as donations, public relations and business development that had been included in other expenses.

Finally, the company renamed the “FDIC premiums” item to “deposit insurance and regulatory expense” while including certain regulatory costs that were previously housed under other expenses.

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