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Insightful USA Today Article about Branch Banking

November 17, 2011

Sandra Block’s November 16th article in USA Today titled “Will bank branches wither away?” was very insightful.  Some staggering numbers were revealed, “In the past year, the number of bank customers who prefer to bank online has jumped sharply, according to a survey conducted in August by the American Bankers Association. Sixty-two percent of bank customers said they prefer banking online to all other methods, up from 36% in 2010. Only 20% of customers said they preferred using a branch, down from 25% last year.”  The article also offers some of the branch strategies banks are pursuing, including: virtual branches, branch sharing, technology, and outsourcing.

As the FMSI Teller Line Study points out, consumer trends are certainly impacting how we are all interacting with our branches.  The real delicate question to ask though is how quickly technology is changing how the population as a whole is interacting with their financial institution?  The data from the FMSI Teller Line study points out (see below) that this change is and will be very gradual.  However, if a financial institution does nothing to address this change, such as changing how they schedule their branches, they will undoubtedly eventually be seriously affected by this shift.

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