Online banking is here to stay but so, it appears, are branches. That was one of the messages KeyCorp's chief financial officer, Jeffrey Wheeden, shared in his presentation Tuesday at a Barclays Capital financial services conference in London.

"Our most significant investment is in our branch network," Wheeden said. "Recent surveys show that 90% of retail clients said that they want to use a branch when opening an account. Branch location also was an important factor for over 80% of small businesses and 60% of middle-market clients."

KeyCorp this year plans to open 40 branches and modernize 85 existing locations, on top of the 160 renovations completed in the past two years.

"Our approach is to target low-share, higher-growth markets where we have the opportunity to build branch density," Wheeden said.

KeyCorp, of Cleveland, has 1,014 branches in 14 states.

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