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Retail banking: sexy again?

After five years of rehab, Citigroup has certainly figured out which side its bread is buttered and decided to go back to the old darling of banking, perhaps leaving the dealmakers licking their wounds. Not only are the "too big" banks whether in the US or Europe making the right noises about a strong Retail Bank as the core of their business model, one can't miss the big buzz around the technology and innovation surrounding it.  Multichannel, customer experience management, mobile, analytics, branch experience, virtual/video conference, "concept store"-styled futuristic branches, "digitized and urbanized" branches (another Citi vision!)...I haven't even started with all the innovation in payments technology. On the capital markets side, apart from low-latency, it is all about CCP, Basel 3, Dodd-Frank, data cleansing, single view of risk, cost optimization...whoa, what a fall! The retail bank - announced dead at the height of the Internet craze, and then shoved to the background while Investment Bankers got busy bringing down the global financial system - is back in vogue both as the trustworthy money-maker supporting the Banks' ROE cause and the melting pot for innovation in banking. Any doubts about where the innovation and IT change-the-bank budgets are going- at least for the net three years?

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