The pages of both Management Strategies and American Banker have featured many articles on the future of the branch. We've covered Citicorp's moves to create a virtual bank, Huntington Bancshares' experimental branch, and the growing popularity of supermarket banking.

In this special issue, however, we look to a less-distant future. Given all that has been written and said about the fading importance of branches, for example, it may surprise some bankers to learn that the number of branches nationally has actually increased in recent years (see story on page 10A).

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