Banks to go back to branches?

Amanda Jarvis

September 17, 2002

However, the resarch also shows that something needs to change if banks are to capitalise on consumer preference for doing their banking in-branch and to achieve maximum leverage from their asset base. In essence, the banks need to reposition the role of the branch, both in the mind of the customer, and for some banking institutions, in the thinking of senior management too.

The research found that the branch is used by more than 80% of all bank customers and is the preferred channel for 52% of consumers interviewed. Importantly, the branch is preferred by 45% of customers in the more affluent AB segment of the population, and by 48% of C1 customers. It is also liked by the banks’ future potential big spenders, the 16 to 24 year-old account holders, 78% of whom use it in preference to the internet or telephone.

These primary findings of a consumer survey conducted for Deloitte & Touche by Taylor Nelson Sofres directly contradict entrenched beliefs that sophisticated customers avoid branches, that young consumers prefer the internet, and that branches primarily attract the poor, the old and those in need of social stimulation.

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