Fiserv CEO not worried about banking deregulation

Company does not address headquarters review in earnings call

The Fiserv headquarters in Brookfield.
The Fiserv headquarters in Brookfield.

In a call with analysts today, the leadership of Brookfield-based financial services technology firm Fiserv Inc. did not address the company’s ongoing evaluation of its global real estate portfolio, including the possibility of moving its headquarters out of Brookfield.

The Fiserv headquarters in Brookfield.
The Fiserv headquarters in Brookfield.

But chief executive officer Jeffery Yabuki did talk about the increasingly positive banking industry sentiment.

“The market continues to exude optimism, buoyed by the March net interest rate hike, a general sense that we will see some form of relief on the regulatory front and a growing confidence that tax reform of some kind will become a reality this year,” Yabuki said. “These factors, combined with the prospect of additional interest rate hikes over the next six months to 12 months, is leading to a longer tail of positive sentiment than we’ve seen in the long time.”

Asked whether an easing of federal banking regulations expected under the Trump administration would negatively impact Fiserv, which sells its technology to banks and credit unions, Yabuki said he was not concerned.

“The best we can tell there’s no movement,” Yabuki said. “And I don’t see that regulatory itself will do anything other than continue to push technology burden on companies like us. And so even if and when the regulatory burden eases a bit, because of the speed in which technology is evolving and the expectations that consumers have and their desire to have their financial institutions deliver faster, more feature-rich experiences, I don’t see that having any impact.”

Fiserv reported first quarter net income of $247 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, down from $289 million or $1.27 per share in the first quarter of 2016. Operating income was $365 million in the first quarter, up from $339 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue totaled $1.4 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago. Fiserv attributed the gain to 6 percent growth in the Payments segment and 4 percent growth in the Financial segment year-over-year.

“We’re making progress against our strategic priorities, setting ourselves up to achieve our financial outlook for the year and building momentum towards further growth acceleration in 2018. “

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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