Retail banks in the USA should invest immediately in their branch infrastructure to strengthen customer relationships and expand cross-selling opportunities across all channels, according to a new report by independent research firm, Financial Insights (FI).
As part of FI's series of reports on the evolving retail banking branch marketplace, this latest report examines the overall importance and role of the branch within institutions' multi-channel delivery infrastructure.
With changes in the banking marketplace and in customer expectations, the report highlights the recent evolution of the retail bank branch from a transaction-focused cost centre into a critical sales and service centre.
The report, The Importance of Branch, examines the branch's role as the most important channel for delivery, service, sales, reinforcing the bank's brand, strengthening customer relationships, and selling non-traditional, consultative products such as investments and wealth management.
"For the first time in twenty years, many banks are in a position where they need to do something about the branch," said Richard Bell, research manager for FI's retail financial services group. "Understanding the branch's role within the institution today - and its possible role tomorrow - is essential to both institutions and vendors."