Branches set for long life - CBA

Branches set for long life - CBA

Despite the rise of digital channels, 80% of Commonwealth Bank of Australia's high-value customers still use branches, meaning that the firm's expensive bricks-and-mortar operation is set to stay in place for years to come.

In a press briefing CBA retail banking head Matt Comyn revealed that two thirds of customers now use digital banking, with half logging in every month.

Yet Australia's largest bank is planning to reduce its 1000-strong branch network by less than 10 this financial year, in part because proximity to a physical outlet is still important for many customers when choosing a provider.

In addition, while mobile and online banking may have moved beyond the purely transactional, digital sales are still lagging, particularly in the crucial area of mortgages.

While 21 per cent of total retail sales are made entirely now through digital channels, the percentages vary wildly between products. Nearly half of credit card sales are now digital, 30% of personal loans, but just five per cent of mortgages.

"We believe that the branch network is still relevant for many of our customers, we think that's going to persist for a significant period of time. As customer preferences shift, then we'll also shift the way we serve," Comyn told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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