What will be the bank branch balance in the digital age?
Gareth Lodge, financial services analyst at Celent, said there is no simple answer for banks. “While the pandemic has moved the industry significantly further forward in terms of digitisation of processes like opening an account, there remain groups in society that still prefer branches, especially the elderly,” he said.
Lodge said the pandemic has added a new dimension for banks to think about, with staff who have been working from home during Covid demanding that remote working policies continue and bosses are actually realising its benefits.
He said the banks could rethink their use of properties to reflect these demands. “At the same time as reducing branch networks, banks are rethinking their staff working strategy as well as their estate portfolio – should they downsize large offices, and use branches as satellite offices instead?”