In a recent column, "Branch Reductions Necessary But Not Simple" [Retail Delivery, March 13], Kevin Travis and Robert Vokes make many excellent points about the need for careful analysis when considering options for reducing branch network costs. We entirely concur with their call for "smart network cost reduction."

However, ironically, the opening proposition that "banks have no choice but to condense the elaborate networks" appears to be an unexamined — and, we would argue, unwarranted — presumption. Eliminating underperforming sites is a valid objective. But it is not the most urgent need or the most promising strategic opportunity facing retail bank planners today.

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