North America's economy is beginning to show signs of life and this creates opportunity for retail banks. Amid the flurry of investigations into the causes and implications of the global financial crisis, a consensus has emerged around the importance of retail banking and its stability compared to riskier corporate and investment banking. In the UK, banks are being forced to separate their retail and investment activities, and in the US, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in 2010 and places curbs on investment banking activities. All of this has encouraged big banks to refocus their energy on their core retail banking business.
At the same time, retail banks are facing a number of significant challenges. The way banks interact with their customers is changing, with mobile and internet banking replacing the traditional branch. This places strain on banks as they must change the way they operate and invest in new technology to replace often creaky legacy systems. It also opens the door to new entrants to retail banking who can offer low cost products to a mass market without an expensive branch infrastructure.
Retail Banking: North America provides insight into the growth of the retail banking industry at a regional and national level — including data, commentary and analysis of key retail banking indicators — and looks at how the landscape is changing in terms of infrastructure, local customs, technology, product development and acquisitions.
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