Nationwide Building Society has joined the branch-makeover stampede, calling in design agency Dalziel & Pow to create a tech-packed coffee shop vibe.
With everyday transactions migrating to digital channels, banks and building societies are shutting some branches and revamping others for the changing needs of customers.
Dalziel & Pow say that they have put "humanity, openness and connectivity" at the heart of their design for Nationwide, ditching the stereotypically austere branch aesthetic for something more homely and welcoming.
As Nationwide branch employees increasingly focus on advice, rather than transactions, the new design brings staff to the forefront by removing the physical barriers of closed counters and providing more open spaces.
There are four service zones: convenience, where members can use ATMs; conversation, for chats with employees; consultation, for private talks with experts, including via video link; and community, for local activities.
A handful of the new branches have already opened with more to come, says Richard Newland, director, branch and workplace transformation.
"We understand the importance of face to face, and that’s why over the next few years we’re investing in our network, to upgrade our branches, ensuring we’re in the right place, with the best services to meet our members’ changing needs.
"Through this we’ll transform our brand on the high-street, creating spaces that are meaningful to our members and demonstrate our unique difference to the banks. The new 4C experience offers our members the choice and convenience to bank with us how they want to, and not only that, our colleagues are loving the flexibility of spaces too."