We live just outside of Austin. About 6 miles west of my home, the two stoplight town of Dripping Springs is becoming an epicenter for new bank branches.
A few years from now people in this area will be saying (with apologies to Lyle Lovett), “I used to live in the country but now I live in the city and I haven’t moved.” Home Depot opened last year. Walgreens is putting the final touches on a new store at the prime intersection (they always seem to get the best spot!). The largest grocery chain in Texas has announced plans for a mega-mart, a new post office is under construction, there’s a new McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart is rumored to have locked up land just outside of town.
Not surprisingly, new bank branches have followed. Six months ago there were three. Soon we’ll have nine: four recently opened and two “coming soon” signs. Continue reading
Deanna Oppenheimer, the retail head at WaMu who created the Occasio branches, was recruited to run retail banking at Barlcay’s Bank in the UK. I recently saw a video of the opening of their flagship branch in Piccadilly Circus – think Times Square for a location with equivalent visibility and iconic impact.
I thought this was a great example of a very traditional bank creating exciting interaction with customers. The Piccadilly Circus branch is a destination, a place where customers want to go.
While I don’t have access to the well produced video that Deanna showed, there is a clip on youtube
and photos at
The Financial Brand that captures some of the experience. For those interested in the latest trend in branch banking, it is worth seeing.
I was at a conference last month and listened to a panel of four senior marketing managers. One, a 30 something exec from a very large bank, started off with “Did you hear that guy from US Bank. He just doesn’t get it.” That Guy (she probably had no idea of his background) was Rick Hartnack, Vice Chairman and Director of Retail Banking at US Bancorp. And what he “didn’t get” was Twitter. Continue reading
Does the “Branch of the Future” look like the “Branch of the Past”?
Chase is in the middle of renovating WaMu’s branches to look like the traditional Chase configuration. The Wall Street Journal published a nice diagram of the old vs. the new. And in this case, the “new” is very traditional – gone is the concierge desk, self service dispensers, open plan that creates greater customer interaction. It’s a straight shot in the door to the teller line, with “platform” offices along the side. Continue reading
Last April we wrote about ServisFirst, (Small Business Banking: Making Housecalls). This Birmingham, Alabama community bank opened its doors in May 2005 and now have $1.2 billion in assets — very heady growth!