Chairs: The Latest Banking Innovation

Newbury Building Society

Newbury Building Society has opened its latest branch and claims to be the only bank or building society in the country where all of its customers sit down to deal with its cashiers, regardless of what transaction they are making.

Whilst high-street banks are looking to make their branches ever more high-tech, and in many cases minimising the contact with branch staff, Newbury is trying to emphasise its customer service credentials by giving customers time to sit and chat.

So what’s behind this move?

Well, being a regional lender in a reasonably affluent area helps, but Newbury are doing other things differently too; partnering with local businesses, for example, so that Newbury BS customers can also get discounts at the local deli or music shop.

It’s a more local and personal deal to the similar type of scheme you might get from a high-street bank which may partner with other high-street stores, and is aimed at gaining and retaining high-value clients, rather than having to (try to) sell them product after product on low margin.

Newbury is a small player (with only 10 branches), but has prospered over the last 5 years from sticking to its core products, simple savings and mortgages.

Whilst we’re always looking for the latest use of technology to prove there’s innovation in banking, innovation is not necessarily technolog-driven, and this is a great example of that.

You could of course argue that this isn’t innovation, but a nod to the bank manager relationships of the past, yet it’s proof that whilst the big players will service the mass market with the growing use of technology, there’s still a market for the small guys who place a lot of value on customer service.

Via The Daily Mail

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