Bank Branches Wither Or Not?
Amidst all the chatter on what went wrong in the world of financial services, one ignored little aspect of this industry is getting renewed spotlight. Bank branches. While technology and its tools will continue to chip away at many of the services banks and bank branches delivered in the past, many experts think the time is just right for reinventing retail banking by infusing it with, yes technology, and other learnings from the retail industry. Oregon’s Umpqa Bank is an oft quoted example. Here’s a rant from Christopher Johnson, a former banker in Financial Times UK, on what’s broken with the UK retail banking model. There are other voices piping in. Most notable from Paul Penrose of Finextra. Here he wonders if branches are a weak link, or the new opportunity, supported by some stats that point to an increase in the number of people visiting branches in the recent times. Paul also believes that the bank manager has a better chance of reassuring customers one to one, better than any piece of technology can, more here. And this last bit from Park Paradigm, a VC’s blog where the author calls on people with ideas to come up with an alternative to retail banking, that he could go out and fund.