Why Bank Mergers and Branch Closures Mean Opportunity for Your Bank

 

Another bank branch closed. Another bank merged. It seems like these are weekly headlines, and to an outsider it might seem like something is wrong in the banking industry. And while closures are never a good thing they are also the source of opportunity for enterprising banks.

Traditionally if a bank wanted to grow they built a branch in the market they wanted to expand in. But with branch traffic down 30-80% (depending on what stat you prefer) this strategy doesn’t make as much sense anymore. In response banks are looking to reign in costs and shutter their offices with low foot traffic. To the bank closing branches it seems almost like a riskless transaction. But that’s not how it appears to the bank’s customers.

When a local branch closes the touch point a customer has with their bank disappears. A branch closure or merger also brings their bank to the mind of a customer. Most customers simply don’t think about their bank frequently unless there is an issue. But seeing “their” institution in the headlines brings to mind a number of questions “Will the same staff still be available?” “Will service decline?” “Is this merger going to benefit executives or customers?”

As a banker, you know it’s hard to grab the mindshare of a prospective client. But a branch closure or merger is the perfect opportunity because the customer has already start to consider whether to stay or leave. Customers that were satisfied for years or decades suddenly become open to offers from other banks, and the prospect of moving their business elsewhere.

The question then becomes “How do I drive business as a result of a merger or branch closure?”

The easiest answer is “Pick up the phone and call the merging bank, or branch’s customers!”

If your bank has the horsepower we suggest an introductory marketing campaign to the target customers introducing yourself and explaining why your bank is an attractive alternative. Then follow up on the initial marketing with personal phone calls from the lenders and branch manager who would be servicing this new business. From there continue to market and prospect until you’re satisfied with the results of your efforts.

CompleteBankData has helped clients identify customers of merged banks and closing branches along with information such as loan size and terms enabling our clients to finely tune their marketing and sales campaigns to ensure success.

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