Spanish Bank On Wheels Reaches Remote Customers
Despite extensive closures, one bank goes the extra mile for its customers.
Spain’s fourth-largest bank has started to get creative about how it reaches its customers following a €19.2 billion ($25.5 billion) bailout last year that required it to lay off workers and shut many of its branches.
Bankia is now dispatching buses equipped with tellers to provide services to customers with no local means of withdrawing or depositing money. The bus aims to offer banking services a few times each month, but for some of the smaller towns this may only happen once a month.
The bank had originally planned to close 1,100 offices and lay off 4,500 workers over three years, but the plans have recently been accelerated to try and reach the same goals in under a year.
Even though Spain has more branches per person than any other country in Europe, bank closures are a common occurrence across Europe following the economic downturn – more than 20,000 branches have been closed so far.
Whether the bus bank is an example of clever marketing, or a genuine concern for customers who can’t get regular access to banking, it’s clear that Bankia is able to think on their feet, instead of just letting the crisis wash over them.