The new branch office concept of Erste Bank:First newly designed Advisory Center opened
First newly designed large advisory center opened
Remodeling and modernization of branch network: another 10 openings planned in 2015
Total investment of 75 million euro until 2019
The first large Erste Bank advisory center was yesterday ceremoniously opened at Floridsdorfer Spitz by Thomas Uher and Peter Bosek, members of the management board, in the presence of customers and politicians. With immediate effect, more than 45 financial experts are available there for all requests concerning money. The 1,200 m2 bank branch office occupies three floors, was modeled precisely in line with customer wishes and constructed in a completely new design. “The branch office was built with the customer foremost in mind”, says Peter Bosek, member of the management board.
Erste Bank’s future branch network: advisory centers and service branch offices
The new branch office network will be taking shape until 2019. In Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, around 30 large advisory centers will be created. These are going to be located in the center of districts, resp. large towns in rural areas. Up to 50 experts will be employed in a single location and provide on-site services to private and commercial customers with respect to the entire product portfolio. The branch office network will be complemented by the already known branch offices for private customers, which will also be remodeled according to the new design parameters.
In addition to this, 17 service branch offices will be created in Vienna. These are designed for the swift handling of banking business and are situated in locations that are frequented by a large number of people, such as e.g. railway stations or shopping malls. Employees are available on site during opening hours (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) for advice on “simple” products such as e.g. opening an account. “In this way our customers don’t have to seek us out, but are rather meeting us on their daily commute”, says Bosek. For more complex inquiries an expert can be immediately consulted via video-conferencing at the push of a button in a room specifically designed for this purpose. The first service branch offices are already operating at the main railway station, the campus of the University of Economics, Westbahnhof (Railway Station West), the Ring Tower and the Citygate shopping mall. Additional ones are to follow inter alia in Seestadt Aspern, the SCS shopping mall and the Auhof Center.
In rural areas, so-called meeting points are built out in locations such as municipal offices, where advisors can meet with customers.
Self-service devices for making deposits, withdrawals, and money transfers are accessible around the clock. Provision with cash currency is ensured by the further build-out of stand-alone ATMs, resp. deposit and withdrawal devices. Moreover, there are currently more than 190 OMV banking service terminals with deposit, withdrawal and transfer functions in operation. “Quality takes precedence over quantity. Ultimately the task is to offer the required services in those places where they are needed”, Bosek explains the approach. An additional 10 branch offices are to be opened in the course of 2015. Overall, approximately 75 million euro will be invested in new buildings and modernizations until 2019
The voices of customers were decisive in shaping the concept The new branch office concept was strongly influenced by customers of Erste Bank: The results of intensive market research and continual customer feedback have shaped the design. For instance, self-service devices are located in the line of sight of the entrance in accordance with customer wishes, and customers also decided on the design of cashier booths and discreet customer support areas. In terms of space utilization, customers are the main focus as well: 80% of the branch office’s area is at the disposal of customers, around one fifth consists of employee offices for administrative activities. Consultations can in future take place at the coffee bar or in comfortable seating furniture.
Opening hours: Since October 2014 there is one branch office per district in Vienna with expanded opening hours from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Due the opening of new service branch offices, 35 branch offices will offer these longer opening hours by year-end.