Citi outlines plans to shrink the bank branch

Citi outlines plans to shrink the bank branch

Hot on the heels of the opening of a massive 6400 square foot flagship outlet in San Francisco, Citi has drawn up plans to pilot a more modest 'compact' branch decked out with a hi-tech finish and staffed by just four employees.

The new branch model comes in at between 600 to 1200 square feet and has already been tried out successfully in a number of overseas markets.

Citi is set to pilot the first branch in Miami next year, complete with a tech make-over to incorporate touchchscreen wall displays, video terminals and biometric authentication.

The bank is also considering more radical 'mini' branches of just 500 square feet and one staffer as a future possibility, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the plans.

Citi's banking peers, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have already begun their own experiments with smaller bank branches, as consumers continue to drift to online channels to access their banking services.

Outlining the blueprint to delegates at the Money20/20 show in Las Vegas, Citi's US consumer banking head Jane Fraser said: “The last few years we have spent systematically shrinking our bricks and mortar presence to the right locations in the markets we want to win in...Unlike our competitors, we are largely now done.”

Her remarks come just one month after Citi opened its latest flagship store in the heart of San Francisco, one of the major urban connurbations that the bank is prepared to invest in a conventional bricks and mortar presence. The 6400 square foot branch features touchscreen TVs and an online kiosk that will serve as in-branch access points to Citi’s digital banking platform.

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