We asked that question in the past several biennial surveys of North American banks and credit unions. In the most recent survey, 160 institutions weighed in. Although the question is subjective, we asked respondents to tell us where their institution best aligned and offered three answers designed to get at how radically the branch needs to change to best deliver on its new sales and advisory focus along a spectrum from mere refinements to radical change:
- Refinements and/or modernization of tried and true design concepts
- Modest changes to the branch operating model
- Radical changes to the branch operating model
In this year’s sample there are apparently lots of “moderates” and not very many “radicals.” That may be good politically, but I find it problematic in banking. Just a third of surveyed institutions think what they need (most branch networks remain in transition) is something quite different than legacy branch archetypes designed 50 years ago primarily to efficiently administer cash, coin, and check transactions.