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Are banks working to reduce branch networks?
Branch banking access has always been a vital part of the banking relationship for its consumers, despite the growth in other areas to access your account such as services provided by ATMs, over the telephone and on the Internet.
The introduction and development of online banking and telephone banking has raised, the possibility of replacing the role of branches. Where some banks have opted to share their banking networks or in some cases use others such as
- Cahoot customers can use the Post Office network.
- First Direct customers can use its parent's (HSBC) branches
- Smile customers can use both the Post Office and its parent's (Co-operative Bank) branches
In all cases above customers can carrying out some over- the-counter transactions.
Branch banking networks have always been an important way to keep their customers because they provide a contact point which customers. Where as Internet banking and telephone banking offer no or a low level of contact and can force consumers to switch if they receive a lack of service.