Here is my hypothesis.
In the future, customers won’t need to engage with their banks on a person to person level. I think that could be very, very bad news for retail banks.
Most people will already attest to the fact that they visit bank branches less and less. Banks have responded - and I suspect will continue to do so - by shutting up shop.
RBS is closing 80 branches this year,
HSBC closed 58 branches last year (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/meandmymoney/article-2030790/HSBC-branch-closure-nail-Ongar-s-coffin.html).
You might think this is great news for banks. They are maintaining sales and reducing overheads. Woo-hoo! But I argue that this leaves them dangerously exposed.
In the past, we customers had personal relationships with branch staff. Even if you ddn’t know their names,
if you needed to, you could go into a branch and speak to someone face to face and decide if you trusted them. And this brings me to the key theme that runs throughout this particular issue - TRUST.
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