The Refresh of In-Branch Banking

How Important Are Brick and Mortar Branches?

Retired PWCampbell President and CEO Jim Caliendo was recently interviewed by Judith Sears for the Independent Banker.  The article addressed this important question and more regarding how banks are pushing their branches to the next level. 

Jim was interviewed along with his peers in the industry on how brick and mortar branches continue to be an important part of a community bank’s retails strategy…even in the face of online banking and mobile apps.

Article excerpt:

Jim Caliendo, retired President and CEO of PWCampbell, a design-build firm that specializes in the financial services industry, says, “Branch design is becoming more open for counseling opportunities and sitting across from clients. Banking remains a people-to-people business. “You just don’t get people as customers because you have the best rate,” he says. “Service is involved. The people are the key. The look of the space, the feel, the perception, all of that is the street value your branch presents.”

PWCampbell devotes much of its efforts to helping its clients integrate technology into the branch. “We use screens based on what the bank would like the customer to see in the branch,” says Caliendo. “It might be advertising products and services with rates. It could be a message from the president to the customer.”

There’s no question that physical branches are a big investment, so whether and where to build them looms large in bankers’ strategic thinking. As part of its services, PWCampbell provides demographic studies of new markets. The firm analyzes markets by census tract, age, education, household growth and income to identify which locations will minimize risk. “It’s taking the whole network of redoing existing branches and opening new branches and looking at that in a holistic way,” Caliendo explains.

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