Branch Consolidation Continues, but Channels Soften the Blow

by Edward O'Brien 0

As banks and other financial institutionsseek ways to replace lost revenues, reduce costs, and increaseoverall efficiencies, they are discovering the value that channelscan provide as part of a revised business strategy.

This is taking place as many financial institutions are reducingtheir branch footprint. The total number of bank branches was downabout 2.2% percent between 2009 and 2012, with smaller institutionsundergoing larger reductions. For example, the number of savingsinstitutions’ branches was down 22% during this period, and down37% from their peak in 2006.

In the meantime, improved channel efficiencies have offered newopportunities for customers and financial institutions alike. Inone example, a sizable community bank in Massachusetts notes thenumber of teller transactions is down about a third over the pastthree years, much of which is attributed to the increased use oftheir mobile banking product.

All of this reinforces the importance of channels in the strategicplan of today’s financial institutions, and the importantcontribution they can make to the bottom line of these institutionstoday, and in the future.