Executive Strategies in Using Bank Branches for Business Growth

“The heart of our company is our retail branches,” says Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer & Community Banking at Chase. In 2020, banks are reimagining the purposes of their branch networks, identifying new ways to expand the value and accessibility of their branches to drive business growth.

This is driving a two-prong effort: (1) expanding the capabilities and capacities of existing branches, and (2) managing branch expansion successfully, both to capture more customers and bring in more money from existing ones.

“We believe the traditional bank has a bright future,” PwC reports. “The fundamental concept of a trusted institution acting as a store of value, a source of finance, and as a facilitator of transactions is not about to change.” In this new evolutionary model, technology will become a product and service enabler, while bank branches will transition into becoming information flagships, advisory centers, and “engagement hubs,” according to PwC researchers.

How will new branch models contribute to business growth?

Decision makers will begin by reducing branch costs and transitioning traditional transactions into “low touch” digital environments. Instead, branches will likely focus on human experiences, where physical environments will evolve to prioritize new varieties and value-adding person-to-person interactions.

As Deloitte describes, banks will increasingly adopt a “growth by consolidation model” that simultaneously reduces banks’ physical and perhaps even their carbon footprints while extending products and services to new and existing customers. “This implies presence via a digital and branch platform to cater to divergent sets of customers, [until] the time technology adoption increases significantly,” says Deloitte.

What is the strategic discussion like among bank executives?

But while experts outline clear, practical solutions for banks as they transition their branch networks into a new decade, not much has been published revealing the internal strategic discussions among bank executives on a broad scale. Future Branches has partnered with the WBR Insights research team to uncover trends in how bank executives are approaching these challenges strategically, yielding key insights into the direction of broader retail banking market.

Q2 2020 Study: Defining Your Branches' Roles in Jumpstarting Business Growth

In our 2020 Future Branches study, a survey of bank leaders—including vice presidents and C-Suite executives—provides a clear picture of high-level decision making shaping the branch networks of today. We begin by establishing how business leaders are identifying new target markets and identifying untapped value in their existing customer base. Then, we uncover how this is impacting their approach to adding value to existing branches—improving service delivery methods to focus more on adding value and services for new and existing customers. Finally, we identify the motives and strategies behind establishing new branches, among financial leaders who plan to do so in the coming years. We will also hone in on business leaders’ broader perceptions about how banks can scale alongside natural market growth today.


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