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.

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