Business & Industry

Nov 1, 2017

BANK WITH A BAR

On a time where the normal has been the savage closure of bank branches, estimating that today there are circa 8,000 bank branches open for business on the United Kingdom when on 1989 there were nearly 18,000 (according to Reuters), Lloyds goes upstream deciding to curve its reduction of branches on Manchester investing an astonishing three million pounds entirely renewing its main branch there!

By NUNO AFONSO

For anyone entering the bank not on the peak of their attention, they will think they entered by mistake on a high-end coffee chain store. The revamped Lloyds branch includes a lounge with armchairs and several sorts of chairs and tables, Internet access, a calendar with events that occur on its space and a coffee shop counter fully equipped with a barista and a wide offer of hot beverages and cakes, in the style of the best coffee shops, evermore so popular in European territory.

This is not the first innovation carried by Lloyds, besides this branch that opened to the public on the first week of October, on April of the current year the bank had already launched an extremely practical novelty to compensate its clients for the ever decreasing number of branches: on the Tenby area since that date you can find a mobile branch with all the staple bank services, you can make deposits, withdrawals and payments and they also help the customers to use its online banking (after all, we're talking about a bank that in 2015 celebrated its 250th anniversary with loyal clients through several generations).

The new branch, located on Market Street, became Lloyd's most expensive branch and besides its coffee shop space, it includes Internet terminals for its customers use and modern technology that allows, for example, those with a safety box to access it through finger print technology. According to Jakob Pfaudler, one of the Lloyds group directors, this will not be the only branch going through such a transformation, the intention is to invest on these super-branches assuring that every main city on the United Kingdom will rejoice with the presence of one.

The bank also promises to renew its surviving branches on smaller dimension cities and to increase its micro-format branches offer, as exemplified previously with the creation of the mobile branches, assuring that unlike the current tendency of other banks, Lloyds is trying to recreate the whole concept of the bank branch, avoiding the extinction that many have foretold with the rising of online banking.

Part of this strategy passes through the expansion of the branches working hours, starting to function twelve hours a day, from eight am to seven pm, instead of the standard nine to five. Besides the inclusion of baristas and coffee shops there was also the care to, with the digital terminals, somehow mimic the gadgets stores, where the clients can be informed about the several products available on a fast and effective way.

The new branches end up serving the senior clients, usually older, that were left behind on the migration to online banking and, by creating a mix of a high-end coffee shop and a cutting-edge gadgets store, it hopes to captivate the sympathy and the presence of the younger generations of clientele, used to the most recent technology and a whole offer of more elaborated coffees, lattes and grinded ice beverages poured by a courteous barista along with an exotic pastry option on the side.

Lloyds was founded on 1765 on Birmingham, having celebrated its 250th birthday on 2015, an enviable longevity on any business branch and even more so on the banking sector, where stability and growth are amongst the factors that catch the attention of the clientele. Betting on the recreation of the concept of the bank branch just demonstrates its lively presence even today.

Contacts * www.lloydsbank.com * Tel: +44 345 300 0000 * Lloyds Bank, 42-46 Market Street, Deansgate, M11PW, Manchester, United Kingdom

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