Most banks take a one-size-fits-all approach to their branching strategies rather than tailor products and services to each branch based on the needs of individual markets.

In a recent poll Fiserv (FISV) conducted during a web seminar, 64% of participants said that their banks' do not take into account such factors as income, competition and concentration of small businesses when devising their business plans. For example, a bank might opt to put wealth managers in all their branches when a better approach would be to staff up only those branches in more affluent neighborhoods, according Andy Grinstead, a senior vice president at Fiserv. Or the bank might set unrealistic goals for loan growth because certain branches might be located in markets where competition is already fierce or, conversely, there simply is not enough demand.

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