Re-imagining the future of the bank branch


Article featuring Virgin Money, HSBC and Cisco Meraki

The much-discussed demise of the bank branch seemed, for a while, to be inevitable. Changing consumer behaviours and evolving digital banking have seen customers increasingly expect digital services in all areas of their life, from shopping to managing their finances and completing their tax returns. This trend only accelerated once the pandemic hit in March 2020, decimating high street footfall and hastening the disappearance of cash, which accounted for just 17 per cent of all payments in 2020. With banking margins under pressure from the low-interest rate environment, banks are inevitably looking to rebalance their portfolios with high-cost high street branches under increasing scrutiny.

More than 4,000 bank and building society branches have closed in the U.K. over the past six years, according to a report from consumer group Which, at a rate of about 50 a month. While there was a hiatus in 2020, with 368 branch closures, the shuttering of familiar high street premises has rebounded in 2021, with 736 bank branches set to shut by the end of 2021 and another 220 earmarked for closure in 2022.

While more people are managing their financial affairs online, whether through a website or mobile app, there’s still a rump of demand for a physical banking channel. Often, but not always, these are more vulnerable customers…

Jackie Uhi, HSBC | MoneyLIVE

Jackie Uhi

Head of Network, HSBC UK

I lead 6,000 people up and down the country who together serve around 1 million customers per week through the HSBC Branch Network. An experienced retail banking strategic executive with a strong proven track record of developing sustainable customer solutions, executing transformational change management programmes and developing a strong business strategy to deliver sustainable results, innovative change and market share growth.

I am extremely passionate about building people capabilities with a particular focus on championing diversity, driving the inclusivity agenda as well as nurturing Black Asian and Minority Ethnic talent and promoting women in business. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 I was included in the EMpower lists published by Yahoo finance named as one of the top 15 advocates, I was recognised for my efforts in creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment for ethnic minority employees. I am recognised as a Social influencer and thought-provoking leader, centred around the inclusivity agenda and elevation of black talent.

Fergus Murphy, Virgin Money | MoneyLIVE

Fergus Murphy

Chief Customer Experience Officer, Virgin Money

Fergus has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services and is responsible for the delivery of the Group’s Personal Banking activities; 5 million personal customers base, customer experience and strategy across products, propositions channels, conduct, performance and portfolio management.

Prior to joining the Group, Fergus held key roles at Allied Irish Banks from 2011 until 2015, including Director of Products and Capital Markets and Director of Corporate Wholesale and Institutional Banking.  From 2008 until 2011 he served as CEO and Managing Director of EBS Building Society and EBS Limited.

Fergus also held a number of senior positions at Rabobank International between 1994 and 2007. He served as CEO Asia Region from 2003 and was previously a member of the firm’s Global Financial Markets management team, holding roles as Head of Global Treasury and Head of Global Investment Banks.

Joe Soueidi, Cisco | MoneyLIVE

Joe Soueidi

Regional Sales Director, Cisco Meraki

Joe Soueidi is a Regional Sales Director at Cisco Meraki. He is passionate about new technology and innovation. He believes in simplifying powerful technology to help people focus on their mission and have a positive impact on the world. Joe started his career in Cisco’s graduate program as a systems engineer. He brings a unique perspective through his international background, having lived in the Philippines, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands.

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