Retail Banking Optimization

Leading Middle East Bank


The market leading bank of this GCC country had experienced a dramatic growth in its customer base in its journey to achieve a strategic goal of more than doubling its consumer customer base.  In addition to the focus on growing the customer base, the Bank had also installed new core banking and imaging systems.  Much of its operations had been recently centralized into multiple regional processing and head office facilities.  As a result of the significant growth coupled with the centralization and new core system implementation the Bank has been experiencing customer service issues.  These service problems have manifested themselves in the deterioration of service timeliness, especially in the Branch Network.  Customer complaints had increased and the service problems were having a negative effect on customer retention.  All of these internal factors were further exasperated by the central bank’s decision to level the playing field between foreign and domestic banks by drastically cutting foreign bank’s tax burden.  

Management engaged LoBue to address the deteriorating customer service levels so as to halt the exodus of high value customers, reexamine existing technology investments to better leverage system capabilities, continue the stalled centralization efforts to collapse the remaining four regional processing centers into one and to implement a branch focused Sales and Service Management process including organization, process and reporting.


LoBue recommended significant organizational and process changes, including the creation of segment managers, focused product managers, enhanced national sales group, redefinition of branch roles, elimination of redundant processing facilities and the complete migration of credit processing and incoming telephone calls from the branch into a repurposed contact center.  Major recommendations that were implemented included:

  • The definition of a new customer segmentation and segment managers to create and manage ongoing proposition
  • Implementation of a full service dedicated priority banking branch model to serve these high net worth individuals
  • Creation of a new Universal Personal Banker position to allow all CSRs to market the entire range retail products
  • Refocus Tellers to execute all “quick” transactions as opposed to focusing on cash only
  • Vastly increased utilization of the banks new business process management and imaging system to transfer and track customer requests
  • Key modifications to the bank’s  core system, addressing reoccurring staff complaints resulting from the recent systems implementation
  • Segregation of commercial transactions so as to provide superior service to these high value customers while removing their elongated processing times from the retail queues
  • Centralize all credit processing in order to shorten branch queues and to simultaneously enforce an often overlooked credit policy
  • Empower the Contact Center to solve customer issues and migrate all branch calls to this newly improved Center
  • Close all regional processing centers and centralize their work into the capital of the country
  • Implement a new organization structure, from the Regional Office down to the branch Customer Service Representative to assure a proactive Sales and Service Management Process.
  • Design and Implement ACTIONABLE reporting, focusing on customer branch and call center wait times, item turnaround times and staff processing efficiency levels
  • Physical redesign of branches to promote alternative channel usage, enhance queue management and foster a sales culture


Within twelve months from the initiation of the project, branches representing over 60% of volume and income were implemented with new processes and organizations, all incoming branch calls were diverted to the contact center, credit was centralized with loan application processing times reduced to an average of less than 15 minutes, new automated reporting was implemented and distributed to all levels of the organization and two of the three regional processing centers were closed.

Key statistics include:

  • Branch Staffing Requirement Reductions of  24%;  Consumer operations > 10%
  • Average Wait Time in Branches Reduced by 34%
  • Redirect branch calls to Call Center and introduce new trans volume by > 64% with no staff increase
  • Centralized credit reduced PL TAT to <1.5 Days and exception rate from 48% to < 20% in first 3mos
  • Increase sales capacity two-fold through function realignment and organizational focus