Branch Closures Drive Customers Away: Survey

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Some consumers say branch closures will cost banks their business, according to new research.

Three in ten of consumers surveyed said they moved their accounts to another institution because of a branch closing within the last year, found a report published by Synergistics Research Corp. Thursday. The report's data also showed that 28% of branch users said they would switch their financial institutions if their current branches closed.

The report surveyed 1,000 consumers online. Other data nuggets gleaned in the research include:

• 27% of those whose bank branch was closed say it was probably a necessary action on the institution's part to cut costs, while 27% said they just stopped using branches; and

• 25% say the branch closure gave them a generally negative impression of the institution, while 25% said it made them uneasy about the safety of their money, and 23% said they did not give it much thought.

"As these results indicate, while many consumers will find some alternative method of coping with a branch closure, a sizeable number have or would switch providers in response," said Genie M. Driskill, COO of Synergistics, in a release. "Providers planning to reduce their branch networks should anticipate a degree of customer loss."

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Comments (3)
Death of branches. Death of checks. Death of cash. In a country where there is insufficient will to get rid of pennies, these reports appear greatly exaggerated.
Posted by jim_wells | Friday, May 10 2013 at 3:21PM ET
Thank goodness for research firms like Synergistics that maintain a firm grasp on reality and refuse to get caught up whatever the current hype happens to be.
Posted by jim_wells | Friday, May 10 2013 at 3:24PM ET
An alternative headline could have been: "72% Consumers Don't Care About Bank Branches"
Posted by Serge Milman | Optirate | Friday, May 10 2013 at 3:27PM ET
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