Chris Skinner talks about his views about the viability of Branches. Not surprisingly, the assessment is that the Bank branch of yesterday is dead. Customer service, relationship management and customer acquisition must evolve as consumers move away from the branch in favor of other channels, including online banking and social media.
We believe that demographics and legacy decisions about branch locations will have severe repercussions for many Banks and Credit Unions. Executives in these institutions should be proactive in examining their specific situation, as well as exploring opportunities to grow their addressable market via “virtual branches”.
Thomas Brown of BankStocks.com reported from the Bank Director magazine’s annual “Acquire or be Acquired” conference in Phoenix that which we have all known for some time: regulatory pressure is escalating at an exponential rate competitive pressures are increasing As a result, scale is required to compete in today’s environment. It is widely believed that any bank under $1b assets will be challenged. The problem is that few buyers are interested in anything other than pristine organizations that present a meaningful opportunity.
Community Banks projected to sharply increase C&I lending in 2011 Results of a recent survey by SageWorks found that 58% of Community Banks expect to sharply increase Commercial & Industrial (C&I) loans in 2011 as compared to 2010. This is another sign that Bankers are regaining optimism about the economic turnaround in the local regions where they are based. This is great news for Small & Medium sized businesses (SMBs) as they may now have new options to grow their businesses, and potentially increase their staff levels. The news is likewise, is very good for the depositors. It is reasonable to believe that as lending increases, Banks will need additional liquidity (eg. deposits) to support that liquidity, which in turn should drive rates on deposit accounts (eg. savings accounts, CDs, Money Market accounts) higher.