A Michigan banking company is modifying its branch structure to beef up its retail banking.
Management at CB Financial Corp., Jackson, Mich., this month revealed its plans for what it calls a hub-and-spokes system for its banking offices.
The company will close some locations and is planning new product and service delivery systems, including banking by telephone or computer.
"Our overall goal is to get this bank positioned with regard to its entire delivery system to meet customer needs in the next five to 10 years," said Steven W. Seely, CB Financial's president and chief operating officer. "We recognize that half our customers don't even use branches anymore."
CB Financial's conclusions and plans are in line with what many community banks are devising as they adapt to survive.
In March of last year, $738 million-asset CB Financial hired Mr. Seely to revive the company and create a new business strategy in the face of declining earnings, loans, and deposits, he said.
Management implemented numerous changes at the company and its three Michigan banks, City Bank and Trust Co., Jackson; City Bank, St. Johns; and CB North, Charlevoix. In particular, officials focused on staff restructuring to enhance retail sales and service.
Already from May 1995 to May 1996, income was up 40%, loans increased 20%, and deposits rose 7%, he said.
After a consulting firm examined potential growth and profitability at the company's 45 locations, CB Financial announced it will close as many as nine offices over the next two years. From 15 to 20 jobs will be eliminated through attrition and restructuring, not layoffs, Mr. Seely said.
Each of CB Financial's three banks will have two hub offices and several spoke offices. Working at the hubs will be investment, trust, and mortgage officers, and eventually insurance and small-business banking specialists, in addition to tellers and customer-service representatives. Staff at the spokes will provide more basic banking services.
To expand its offerings, CB Financial will introduce a computer network site in the next 60 days, as well as computer and automated telephone banking this fall. It also plans a nonautomated customer service call center, as well as indirect and direct lending telephone banking centers.