Monday, May 13, 2013

Wells Fargo eyes W.T Harris for minibranch

Wells Fargo is considering putting one of its new minibranches in Charlotte, but it would not be open to the general public.

Kendall Alley, the bank's Charlotte-area president, said Monday that Wells might open the branch in its Customer Information Center off West W.T Harris Boulevard, where 10,000 Wells Fargo employees work. As part of a possible pilot project, the minibranch would go in the center and be available only to Wells Fargo employees who work there, Alley said.

"That's a great spot for piloting ideas," he said. "Our team members have no hesitation to give us feedback whenever they think we need to do something better."

Last month, Wells Fargo unveiled the new branches, which it described as having a "neighborhood bank format." The bank picked Washington, D.C., as the test market for the first branch, which is about one-third the size of a typical Wells Fargo branch, or "store," as the bank refers to them.

The smaller branches are being introduced as Wells Fargo tries to cut costs through reducing the amount of space it uses. Last year, the bank decreased the amount of space it occupies by 4.5 million square feet, according to its annual report. Since 2008, the company said, it has reduced its square footage by 16 million square feet.

At roughly 1,000 square feet, Wells' new type of branch is much smaller than its traditional branches, which range from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.

"That store requires less space," Alley said. "But we feel like it's got an awful lot of ways that we can have great conversations with our customers.

"I would hope that we would have a lot of those in the Charlotte area in the future, whether that's one year, four years, five years. Some of that depends on traffic patterns in the stores."

Alley, like many others in the banking industry, says there's still a need for branches, even though customers are increasingly using online and mobile banking.

"We still have more than sufficient volume in the stores to support the stores we have," Alley said.

3 comments:

John said...

Just 10 paragraphs, and I use that term loosely considering that most were only one or two sentences, three at the most. Yet, you still feel the need to state TWICE that Wells Fargo refers to branches as "stores"?

So, is it your readers with the short attention span, or you?

Anonymous said...

thanks

Anonymous said...

Here is a bank which says it has record profits quarter after quarter lol but they need to cut branch sizes. My theory is they are just breaking even with actions such as this. Wells Fargo needs to bring in new management from outside if they are ever going to improve their retail banking. Big banks have a number of problems first they are not going to get any bigger second no one trust them. In talking to employees at branches most of them do not even bank with Wells Fargo. So how can you expect a customer to trust you when your employees don't.