Consumer Hypocrisy Clouds Retail Branch Strategies

How many consumers insist on opening new accounts in branches? And yet how many never step foot in a branch again after opening their account? The numbers will surprise you.

Novarica, in tandem with, conducted a study that posed attitudinal questions about how important bank branches are when consumers consider a new banking relationship. The survey, fielded in late October and early November last year, received 2,754 completed responses.

The prevailing belief among financial marketers today is that younger consumers don’t care about bank branches while older consumers prefer branch banking. But Novarica cautions that sweeping generalizations like these can be misleading. Novarica found a surprising 58% of those under 30 would not consider opening an account at a bank without a branch nearby. And conversely, 64% of those 50 or older say they can imagine a time when they will do all their banking virtually.

Across all age groups, 68% said that they wouldn’t currently choose a bank that doesn’t have convenient branches. Almost three quarters (71%) of customers state that branches and/or ATMs located near their home or work are important when selecting a bank.

50% feel they have transactions that can’t be completed online or at an ATM. Only 29% of respondents find going to a bank branch to be onerous.

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