Magazine article American Banker

Chicago Bank Targets Old, Young with Dual Branch

Magazine article American Banker

Chicago Bank Targets Old, Young with Dual Branch

Article excerpt

By PAVLENKO-LUTTON, LAURA

Chicago's South Shore Bank has a plan for catering to its oldest customers while courting younger ones: separate them.

Today the bank will unveil a remodeled branch on Chicago's South Side with distinct sections for its traditional customers-the elderly-and for the young, upwardly mobile professionals moving into the neighborhood.

The section for the elderly includes tellers at desks rather than windows and a spacious waiting area with coffee and doughnuts. The section also has its own drive-up entrance, for easy pickup and drop-off.

The section aimed at younger people has tellers at windows, an electronic banking center, and sales offices where lenders and financial planners can meet with customers.

"When we told people what we were doing here, they said, 'Are you sure you want to do that? None of your competitors look like that,'" said Alicia King, president of retail banking.

"I said, 'I don't care. This is what our customers need.'"

South Shore, a $740 million-asset community redevelopment bank and subsidiary of ShoreBank Corp., is spending about $3.4 million on the renovation.

The branch is in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, home to affluent African-Americans during the 1920s and 1930s but later overrun by gang members and drug dealers. The neighborhood has rebounded of late, however, with younger professionals buying and restoring some of its older properties.

Chris Hargrove, a consultant with Professional Bank Services in Louisville, Ky. …

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