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Banks’ Strategies and Objectives Shape Branch Design Models

Mark Charette is the CEO of Solidus Inc., a commercial design and construction firm specializing in the financial industry, with locations in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Hampshire. He may be reached at

Mark Charette



he two biggest doubts holding financial institutions back today are concerns about their model and their strategy. Not knowing whether the model or strategy is correct can render technology useless, branch staff superfluous and merchandising a huge waste of time and money. So what is the right model and strategy? A branch model goes deeper than the relative positions of retail zones and equipment. Deciding how model and strategy work together may resemble a chicken-and-egg problem, but logically, the model must be determined by your strategy and its objectives.

Strategy Drives Model, Technology Enables Strategy The successful branch model (driven by strategy) includes staffing that requires its own 18 BANKING NEW ENGLAND

special training. Banking technology should enable strategy, not the other way around (strategy shouldn’t enable technology). Financial institutions should mindfully build their platforms – deliberate layers of staff, technology and retail communications – so the branch model completely supports strategy: 1. If growing wallet share is the strategic goal (more products per customer/family), dialogue banking is the model to support this. The dialogue model requires in-branch tellers using a new generation of highly efficient cash processing equipment. 2. If staff productivity or pure efficiency is the goal, the branch automation model is the best option. This model uses machines that enable customer transactions with minimum assistance from staff. The cost of banking equipment can be

Banking New England March/April 2016  
Banking New England March/April 2016  

In this issue, how the upcoming political election could affect banks; five signs of financial distress in an uncertain economy; and four st...