4 Real Estate Considerations for Banks in an Online World

February 7, 2020, Law360, by Andrew McIntyre–

As banking continues to shift from brick-and-mortar buildings to the internet, banks — many of which lease their space — are evaluating just what physical footprint is best, and lawyers say keeping a few points in mind during discussions with landlords is crucial during the process.

While the move away from physical banks has similarities to the shift from retail stores to online shopping, banks have certain unique considerations, such as vaults and ATMs, that factor in heavily when questions of downsizing or repurposing are on the table, according to experts. And the shift to online banking could proceed at an even faster clip than the parallel retail shift, given that consumers generally don’t need to see or feel their money, unlike, say, shoppers for clothing.

“Brick-and-mortar banks are declining in importance,” said Neisen Kasdin of Akerman LLP. “Millennials are doing most or all of their banking online. It’s only when you get to baby boomers that you see people do all their banking in person, and even that’s changing.” There’s also been a shift toward opening small branches in supermarkets, which gets branches in areas with heavy foot traffic.

“When new supermarkets open up, banks are taking smaller spaces inside those locations,” said Robert McPeak with McDonald Carano LLP, noting that many of those bank branches are open seven days. To read the entire article click here.

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