Cumbria Crack

Cumbrians asked for their opinion on future of high street banking

L-R: Bob Matthews, Customer Experience Manager, Sophie Byers, Assistant Branch Manager and Ray Woodward, Research Hub Manager


A research hub to find how Cumbrians see the future of high street banking is being opened in Carlisle.

The month long project is being launched by The Cumberland which is opening a temporary store on English Street to use as a testbed for new ideas. As a member-owned organisation it is keen to hear the thoughts and opinions of its customers and the wider public in this research on how its branches might operate in the future.

Widespread bank closures and financial troubles for big name retailers might have prompted many to be pessimistic about the future of the high street, but The Cumberland says it is committed to the future of its branch network.

In 9 communities it is now the ‘last man standing’ after other banks have shut up shop and told customers to access their accounts in larger branches or online and the findings from the research hub are likely to prompt investment in The Cumberland’s network.

Bob Matthews, Customer Experience Manager at The Cumberland, explained that the research hub will not be an attempt to demonstrate technology, but a chance for local people to offer their ideas, whether they are customers of The Cumberland or not.

“This is about giving local people the chance to decide what we are delivering. It’s research about making our branch network more sustainable and how the branches might meet people’s needs in the future.” said, Bob.

“It is a blank canvas, but topics likely to feature in discussions might include different branch layouts and people’s reasons for visiting a branch rather than using online services. This exercise is about making sure we have a branch network that is fit for the future.”

The research hub – which is situated next door to The Cumberland’s existing English Street branch – will be open for anyone to call in to discuss ideas with trained Cumberland staff. It launches on Saturday 13 October and will be open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday for 4 weeks.

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