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Special Report: Retail revolution
“I embrace competition and diversity,” says Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, “but we shouldn’t kid ourselves – I can’t think of a single country in the world where the number of banks is going up.”
In one sense, he’s right: an immediate product of the financial crisis has been to accelerate the consolidation of the sector. But he may yet be wrong, because another consequence of the crisis has been precisely the opposite – to heighten the clamour for more competition, not less.
This Chartered Banker analysis doesn’t pretend to predict which side of this argument will prevail. It’s too early for that. All we can do at this stage is identify the main components of what’s becoming an electrifying retail banking drama.
The saloon doors have been flung open as new hot shots stalk in to challenge the old guard. ROWAN MORRISON anticipates the showdown.
It’s time for banks to learn from mobile phone providers and make account numbers portable argues ADAM PHILLIPS Chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel.
Our big banks may be badly winded, but they’re determined to win back loyalty and credibility. Chartered Banker reports on how the Goliaths are squaring up.
Bank with attitude
Toilets for customers and biscuits for their dogs caught the headlines when Metro Bank launched. Chairman ANTHONY THOMSON explains why Britain’s newest bank is greater than its gimmicks.
Politics of Banking
As politicians launch two more high profile investigations into UK banking, the big question is how radical either will be in the remedies they recommend. CHRIS BAUR measures the undercurrents.
As more customer transactions migrate from the counter to the machine and the internet, bank branches will get fewer, smaller, more sales-led – and cashless. HAZEL REID examines tomorrow today.
The Institute’s latest survey commissioned from research agency YouGov reinforces the message that customers increasingly expect qualified professionals to be handling their banking affairs.
For existing banks, the challenge is streamlining their numerous legacy IT systems. For new players the challenge is simply how to build the platforms from scratch. ANDREW STONE reports.
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