The Financial Brand reproduces a study by Point Enterprises, focusing on the trend toward weekend opening hours at bank branches in the US. Point’s survey generated responses from 54 financial institutions (two Canadian and 52 American) with the latter including seven credit unions. The sample size isn’t big enough to provide conclusive evidence about the US banking market as a whole, but it does suggest the direction of customer service expectations.
Of the 10 banks with 10 or fewer branches, two had no Saturday business hours, but seven had most (if not all) of their branches open on Saturday. The remaining bank in this size group had some branches open selectively, but not the majority of them. Three more bank size categories extended up to a high end of 101-500 branches, a group that included six banks in the survey. Every single one of those six had some branches open on Saturday, but only two of them had virtually all branches open, suggesting a strategy of minimizing staff expenses by concentrating Saturday services at a few locations.
Sunday opening was much less common. Forty-two of the 54 banks (78%) had no Sunday openings, and only one bank, one of the largest group, had most of its branches open on Sundays. The other 11 had at least some opening hours on Sunday, but only at a minority of branches.
We increasingly-harried consumers often cannot get to a bank during Monday to Friday working hours, or cannot spare the time to attend to a possibly complicated banking problem during those hours. In today’s society, I believe Saturday hours for banks are nearly a requirement in the eyes of most consumers, despite the fact that many will most often do their banking online long after the bank has closed. Will Sundays eventually go the same way? If we consider the precedent set over the past 40 years by grocery stores, the answer is probably yes.