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360 View | Growing Local Banks in the Millennial Market

Bank Switchers Insist They Must Have Branches

Consumers actively searching for a new banking provider still feel strongly that branches are an essential component in their’ switching calculus.

By Rob Rubin, Managing Director, Novantas

The clear correlation between low interests rates and declining interest in direct banks among potential switchers raises a big question… Just how important are physical locations to bank shoppers? At what point are they willing to trade-off nearby physical branches for remote channels? To partly address this issue, we fielded a survey to bank shoppers on FindABetterBank to understand how important physical branches are in their decision-making process).

We found that more than half of respondents consider branches to be a primary decision factor:

  • 29% can’t imagine a time in the future when they would be comfortable doing all their banking virutally
  • 53% wouldn’t consider an institution without a branch nearby
  • 51% say branches are an important factor
  • 50% feel they have transactions that can’t be completed online or at an ATM
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Looking out over a long horizon of 10 or 15 years, consumers will surely feel differently about the role of physical branches. But for now, don’t close all your branches just yet.

Insights from Rob RubinRob Rubin is Managing Director of Novantas Data Services. His research leverages insights captured from thousands of bank shoppers every day while they are actually thinking about- and in the process of shopping for a new bank.

All content © 2017 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

The Financial Brand Forum 2017 | May 17-19 | Las Vegas


  1. David Mooney says:

    47% disagree with the statement “I can’t imagine a time in the future when I could be comfortable enough to do all of my banking virtually”. That is, nearly half can imagine such a time, contrary to what is stated in the bullet.

  2. Ooops. Good catch David. Gotta watch out for those double negatives. Correction made.

  3. Lisa Sewell says:

    Our CU Members do like convenient branch locations as well as our online services. But most importantly, they like having at least one branch open full service until noon on Saturdays.

  4. Good point Lisa. You almost have to wonder if it would make more sense to open (smaller) branches in evenings and weekends.

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