New direction, new images of community-focused credit union branch for Community Savings. Our concept for a 1400 sq ft community credit union branch delivers intimate, member-dedicated spaces allowing for more personal interactions in comfort and privacy.

There is disruption occurring in banking, specifically around retail branch design and technology. The branch of the future is both high tech and high touch. A recent story in the Globe and Mail gives great examples of what is happening in the Big 5 banks that have become more technologically savvy with more services online, but still delivering high value personal services in branch. Branches that now offer a different personality than one may have found in recent past. Think open, transparent and welcoming with fewer counters and smaller spaces. Here in BC, where credit unions are a significant part of the financial services landscape and our communities, RATIO has seen an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit evident in branch design and service delivery.

CEO’s who intend to optimize a key asset, their workforce, will want to challenge them to be more productive, creative and innovative. To achieve this, workspace design must appeal to three broad categories of well-being; the physical, cognitive and emotional.

Recently, Business in Vancouver published a story related to the changes that have occurred with BC’s Credit Unions. The dichotomy of growing membership but fewer credit union brands is interesting and presents a challenge. The trend towards mergers in the sector means there are now fewer than 40 credit union brands compared to 1996 when there were around 100. Credit Unions are about community, people and relationships. So, how do Credit Unions keep brand consistency across credit union branches and communities? How does Credit Union branch design support those brand characteristics that set it apart from competitors and deliver on the promise of community support?