Standard Bank is rejigging its bricks and mortar footprint as clients increasingly migrate to online services, and has started talks with trade unions about what the slimmer, fitter branch network means for jobs. "Footflow [to branches] has fallen off a cliff," Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala told Business Times this week. And though he would not give details about the plan with the bank's branches, he did say that eventually they would look very different and employ a different mix of people. Empty branches are a serious problem for the big banks. Renting space in shopping centres and staffing it has cost implications. All the while, digital newcomers such as TymeBank and Discovery are making a play for clients without the historical baggage of a paper-based banking system. Tshabalala's bank now has 76 fewer branches in SA than eight years ago. And the remaining 629 branches are on average a fifth smaller than in 2011. The volume of transactions in branches is also dropping — down...

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