Note from the CEO: This article makes more of a social statement saying that as US banks close branches, people are simply let go, while Europe gives former employees a few months severance and Asian banks take care of the no longer needed folks with a pension. The takeaway seems to be either become a socialist or move to Asia or Europe if you are in branch banking in the US, we guess.
“Talking with the leader of a large bank the other day proved illuminating. He said to me that he could see the digital revolution happening, and wants to embrace it. All well and good. He continued to say something that I hear quite often: “But what do we do about the people?”
Just as robots will displace human traders, so will digital replace branch staff. Most banks are rationalising their branch networks and making closures in developed markets (it’s different in countries where regulations stop closures, or where development of the banking system is younger and needs more branches for accessibility). Half of all US bank branches could disappear in the next 10 years, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a financial services research firm. That would be stark, as data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shows the total US branch count falling only slightly in the last few years from a peak of 99,550 in 2009 to 94,725 (as of June 2014).