Umpqua: Branch Bank of the Future
The Economist of June 16, 2007 page 85 describes an interesting bank chain: Umpqua. Begun in Oregon. Highly focused on customer service, not only ATM fees and deposits. 144 branches in 12 years.
The current riddle for banks is how to attract customers to the branch office (branches matter to customer relationship and customer loyalty which drives sales) when 2x more customers bank online than did in 2002.
Well trained associates (trained by the Ritz Carlton, no less) cater to customer needs and charge accordingly. Link to Economist article.
Maybe the Apple Store is not the only example of the Branch Bank of the future. cperrien