Sep 14, 2013
05:44 AMThe Connecticut Story
Webster Bank Will Close or Relocate 20 to 30 Branches Over a Decade
Plenty of changes are in store for Webster Bank’s network of 169 branches across four states, executives of the Waterbury-based financial institution told a group of institutional investors in New York City this week.
Greg Jacobi, senior vice president of distribution at Webster, told institutional investors on Wednesday that the bank will either close or relocate between 20 and 30 branches over the next decade.
The number of Webster branches is already down from where it was five years ago, Jacobi said.
The figure that Jacobi gave to investors does not include an undetermined number of branches that the bank plans to open over the same period of time, said Robert Guenther, senior vice president for communications at Webster.
“We’re just looking to be in the best locations possible,” Guenther said. “Some of our branches were opened 10 or 20 years ago and don’t have drive-up access.”
The bank doesn’t expect to have to resort to any layoffs as a result of any branch closing, based on existing employee attrition rates, he said.
But the changes in store for Webster’s branches go beyond the number of locations, Guenther said. With more customers doing banking transactions via applications on their computer tables and smart phones, traffic in Webster branches is down 12 percent year over year, he said.
That has led Webster executives to determine that the bank can operate more efficiently b
“We’re going to a hub-and-spoke system with the branches,” he said. “Some of our branches will be regional hubs with more service than other smaller branches.”
Guenther said the look inside the branches “will be more casual,” with some bank personnel freed from being behind teller stations to roam around with iPads.