"There's a demographic that still wants to come into the branches," says Catherine Bessant, global technology chief at B of A. But "what we need is for the branch to be different" in staffing and appearance, adds Manolo Sanchez, the CEO of BBVA Compass.

Tech-Savvy Bankers Make the Case for Branches

You might expect Manolo Sanchez, the CEO of BBVA Compass, to renounce traditional branches since his bank is spending $117 million on the online-only startup Simple. But he joined other senior bank executives in defending the branch as "still relevant."

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