MEDFORD, Ore. – The Internet and online banking may be affecting branch networks, but one person says that branch locations are still critically important – especially when consumers are searching online for a new financial institution.

Rob Rubin, managing director at Novarica, told the Financial Brand that more than half of consumers shopping for a new FI only want to compare institutions within five miles of home or work. That data comes from recent searches via Novarica’s FindABetterBank.com site. The website does not appear to include credit unions in its search results, but the data is still important for CUs, as they are increasingly reliant on online servicing in favor of branch networks.

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