Getting back to the (post) office
Banks could put their stamp on local branches.
But governments, worried about the hollowing out of towns and city centres, are understandably keen for commuting to return. Banks, which have filled the airwaves with talk of being part of the solution to the coronavirus crisis, feel a bit stuck in the middle.
There are obvious areas where banks want their folk back – trading just isn’t the same without The Floor. But many roles surely only need to pop in for the occasional town hall. Employees might have to get comfortable with some surveillance, of course, but many might accept some downside for the upside of a desk out of town.
But what about retail? There was an intriguing report by Capitol Forum in August suggesting that JPMorgan might be preparing to offer its services in branches of the US Postal Service.
This sounds like it makes some sense. Bank CEOs that Euromoney has spoken to during our annual Awards for Excellence process regularly cite the cost of branch networks as one of the biggest headaches in their retail operations.