Branch transaction volumes in the US have dropped by 45% over the past decade, according to data released by teller management outfit Financial Management Solutions Inc (FMSI).
The FMSI Teller Line Study is based on a compilation of teller activity volumes pulled monthly from HR systems and community bank and credit union core systems.
Using the month of March as an annual comparative benchmark, this year's study indicates that branch transaction volumes are continuing a year-over-year decline.
"We are in a unique position in that we have access to more than 17 million monthly transactions from many different financial institutions," says W. Michael Scott, president/CEO of FMSI. "The detailed study reveals a declining branch transaction trend, of which senior management at financial institutions should take note. With transactions dropping and staffing levels remaining the same, the inevitable outcome is costly overstaffing in the branch environment."
The downward trend in branch activity levels is accelerating as more consumers turn to digital channels to conduct their daily banking transactions, fuelling the debate over the value of branch networks in a 21st century banking model.
Analyst house Celent says that the banking industry will soon respond to the obvious migration of customers to new digital alternatives and is forecasting a dramatic 30-40% reduction in the number of operating branches in the US over the next decade.