3 key factors driving new retail branch strategies in banking

Banks and credit unions are opening fewer new branches, so they have to be more selective. That means picking the right sites in the right markets.

Over the course of my career, I’ve helped select sites for over 1,000 new branches. In my role as a consultant, I’ve found that many C-level executives at community banks and credit unions aren’t familiar with some of the most fundamental principles that (should) drive a branch distribution strategy.

When crafting a long-term distribution strategy for a retail financial institution, there are three basic elements that should determine which sites are appropriate for new branches: markets, locations, and sites.

1. The Right Market

Markets represent geographies and can be both big or small. And it’s not just about the size of the market, but more importantly the potential of the trade area that surrounds a possible branch.


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