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Branching out: The case for the human touch in banking

A new talent strategy can make branch employees a bank’s most critical workforce of the future.


In the digital world, branch employees will no longer be transaction specialists. They will be professionals focused on helping customers manage wealth and long-term goals. As the human face of a bank’s brand, the branch workforce of the future will provide the high-touch services that high-value customers demand. And they will offer new customer experiences that bring together the best attributes of in-person and online banking.

To achieve this transition, banks need to fundamentally re-imagine their branch talent strategies. Above all, they need to equip branch employees with skills to make every customer interaction a differentiated and profitable banking experience.



Key Findings

Banking customers are using branches less frequently for “My Cash” transactions, which focus on day-to-day management of income, expenses, assets and credit card accounts:

  • Of the 17 interactions customers have, on average, with their banks each month, 11 take place online or via other digital channels.

  • The number of branch visits declined by 6 percent in 2014.

Yet, branches continue to play a critical role in providing complex financial products, advice and human-touch services that can’t be found online:

  • 34 percent of customers who switched financial service providers in 2014 did so because of poor or non-personalized customer service.

  • Only 7 percent of customers defected because of the quality of a bank’s digital interactions or services.

As routine transactions continue to move online, the branch experience is poised to be the differentiating factor of banking success in the future.


To deliver My Life services (which help customers build and manage wealth and achieve long-term goals), banks must:

  • Equip branch employees with skills to communicate the intricacies of complex financial products and identify solutions that match customers’ needs.

  • Create personalized branch interactions that bring together customer experiences in the online and offline worlds. Access to digital tools and real-time customer information—and knowing how to use them—will be key to creating a seamless interaction.

  • Treat branch employees like the strategic assets they are. New roles must be supported by new indicators of success, incentives, rewards and talent strategies.



Frederic Brunier


Frederic Brunier
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy
Financial Services
Austria, Germany, Switzerland


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Stefano Trombetta


Stefano Trombetta
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy
Talent and Organization

Italy, Greece and Emerging Markets


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