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March 31, 2010


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Great article, completely agree with the conclusions. However, some of the analysis here looks slightly off, so a few points of comment.

1. The reason why page refreshes are down is not because banks are investing less, or scaling back - quite the opposite! Instead, they've got smarter and built pages that feel like apps on the desktop.

2. The second reason is even more simple. Does the wayback machine have your online banking details? Er, no! So how does it count all the development behind the security wall?

3. The cross sale point is crucial, and I think most banks readily accept this. However, your point around budgets again feels a bit off - the reason why they spent hundreds on branches and tens on online is simple - one costs a shedload more!!!

Brett King


Thanks, agree with the principle of your comments, but my point is that relative to budget the internet and internet banking (which you are correct we can't measure with the wayback machine) channels produce better bang for their buck, AND are the customer preference.

So banks have to really take a good hard look at why they are spending 100x more on branches because they are legacy infrastructure, and not because they make great business sense. It seems the core value of branch is their branding value these days.


Rik Coeckelbergs

I am not sure we should see this 800 en 8m as representative. I guess this is just an example Chris mentionned. We should not focus on the 100x more.

However, it sounds reasonable that banks invest a lot more in branches, IF they have a big branche network they need to keep it convenient for passing-by-customers, keep it fancy for passing-by-potential-customers, keep it safe for passing-by-gangsters etc... that requires a lot of money, a lot more that with a website I guess.

Where you can update one website for all customers, potential customers and gangsters, you need to update all its branches separately.

A better comparison would be (or at least a comparison I'm interested in) to compare the investments on internet of this big bank with the investments of an internet-based bank on its internet infrastructure to see if there are big differences...

Brett King


Good point. ING Direct in spends about twice the relative budget on internet versus say HSBC UK. Having said that HSBC leaves most of their investment in 'internet' to FIrst Direct on a trial and error basis. Lloyds and RBS are well behind HSBC in their spend at this point in time...

This is anecdotally based on discussions with relative teams.


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