More than three quarters of Brits think that it is important that their bank offers both online and branch services, according to a survey from TSB.
Of 2000 people quizzed by TSB, 68% say that quick and easy online banking is most important when choosing a provider, 64% being able to speak to someone in a branch, and 41% being able to talk to a staffer over the phone. (Respondents were able to pick more than one answer.)
The research also found that 71% of people use online banking to manage their everyday accounts, but that nearly half are still more likely to visit a branch when making important financial decisions.
The desktop is still the most popular way to access TSB's digital services, used for 59% of visits, with the bank's mobile apps used for 31% and the mobile browser for 10%. The average user logs in up to five times a week, most of the time while sitting in front of the TV, but often at work and in bed.
TSB says that the survey results vindicate its ‘bricks and clicks’ strategy. While other banks are closing branches, it launched a staunch defence of the branch network earlier this year, when it published a position paper explaining its strategy to refurbish 265 branches and open 30 new outlets in selected locations.
The bank's services, however they are delivered, will soon face a major test. Regulators recently gave Spain's Banco Sabadell the green light to buy TSB and will migrate the former Lloyds unit's IT backbone onto its own proprietary Proteo platform.
With bank IT systems under the spotlight following a series of high profile glitches, the migration - for which Lloyds has handed over £450 million to pay for - will be closely monitored for any disruptions to millions of customers.