RBS planning to close a quarter of its branches and shedding 680 jobs, due to an increasing number of customers opting to use online banking out of convenience as opposed to visiting high street branches.

Richard Lowe, Head of UK BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) at SQS, believes that the switch favouring online and mobile banking to in-branch banking was always inevitable, and that banks should now take advantage of this sudden shift in consumer banking behaviour by ensuring that they retain their newly acquired customers, and avoid breaking their trust.

The below comment suggests that if banks want to retain their online customers, following the closing of high street branches, the technology they have in place must be quality assured to the highest standard to minimise the risk of data breaches or system failures.

Richard Lowe, Head of UK BFSI at SQS:

“The recent announcement by RBS that it intends to close 259 branches is representative of the current shift in retail banking and highlights clearly just how important the role of technology has become in the sector. Our research shows that 90 per cent of customers in the UK are choosing to bank online. Effective and reliable technology is vital to the public, 62 per cent of customers say that if they were the victim of a data breach it would break their trust in their bank and 55 per cent say they would feel the same if they were a victim of fraud. Robust and quality assured technology is now, more than ever, going to be a key differentiator amongst the UK public when choosing a banking provider; and with Open Banking coming into play in early 2018, banks could see their customers selecting alternative providers as the process of switching banks becomes swifter and easier. To maintain customer loyalty and attract new customers, banks need to be embedding quality assurance into every part of the customer experience or risk losing them to competitors.”

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