Hot Topic in Banking: Branch Transformation

Adrenaline leads workshop at invite-only event for community banks focused on how to up-their-game in the wake of disruption and demographic shifts

In mid-October, Adrenaline’s President, Sean Keathley, led a thought-provoking series of workshops for The Bank CEO Network’s fall conference series. The membership-based network provides support for community bank CEOs through insights and information tailored to their specific challenges and demands. Given that the largest five banks in the U.S. now control nearly 45% of the of the banking industry’s total assets, community banks have real and pressing needs in order to compete with the deep-pocketed banks dominating the industry.

It’s not just big banks providing big competition – digital disruption is expected to take a bite out of community banks’ market share, as well. In fact, fintech digital disruption could result in a 30% decline in core banking revenues. So, it’s a perfect storm of change for community banks. It’s not just technology that’s having an impact. Demographics are a central part of that change, as well. As community banks begin to address modern era consumer demands for banking, they’re also facing an internal shift, as well.

Keathley says, “As we think about the state of community banking in this country, it mirrors what’s happening in towns across America. What do cities and towns across America face? Well, there’s a whole generation of people that are entering retirement. Really, because of what’s going on with digital disruption and all the things that are happening across all businesses, this is not a one-time retooling, a small project or a distinct event. For community banks, this is a journey. They’re on a path to build a sustainable, forward-thinking approach to community banking.” 

What community banks know is that closing all of their branches and moving all their transactions online is not the answer. Nor is it reasonable for them to do business the way they always have – in the branch. This is really a tale of two sides. A recent Salesforce study says consumers of all ages prefer digital channels to the branch. At the same time, a recent Fiserv study found that 44% of consumers prefer to do their “standard daily transactions” at a traditional branch with tellers. So, branches have competing priorities and must find a way to bridge this divide.

Hot Topic in Banking: Branch Transformation
Hot Topic in Banking: Branch Transformation
Hot Topic in Banking: Branch Transformation

Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, The Bank CEO Network’s Bank Advisory workshops are strategically broken into asset size groupings. Keathley says, “They’re looking at things from value driving back. The concept is to group around your asset size, because you’re going to have a lot of the same issues. You can’t talk to a $3 billion dollar bank about what they should be doing the way you would talk to a $100 million dollar bank. There are good ideas for all of them, but they’re different. Here, you pull in people across the country, and they can discuss challenges and share best practice ideas.” 

The workshops took place in California over a two-week span. Adrenaline had participants use workbooks to self-assess their bank’s distinct challenges. Then, Keathley facilitated a crowd-source determination where each workshop group would select the three topics to address. Armed with examples across numerous industries and specific bank best-practice case studies, these sessions were chock-full of actionable intelligence and information customized to the individual challenges the participants’ banks are facing. 

Gathering like-minded community bank CEOs from across the nation together to discuss real-word challenges is a smart way to create community and develop a brain trust of ideas that work across the cities and towns these banks serve. Whether it’s brand experience or universal bank transformation, this network of community banks is empowered to respond to disruption and lead the charge for next-level customer-experience. For more information on the next conference series addressing community banking’s most pressing challenges, visit The Bank CEO Network.

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