Islandsbanki unveils new look for flagship

Islandsbanki has unveiled a redesign at its head office branch in Reykjavik. allen international undertook a continued re-think of the bank's present operational model and customer experience. The branch merges three branches into one, Þarabakki, Digranesvegur and Garðatorg. The new merged branch is a strong financial centre offering comprehensive financial consultancy services to the bank's customers. All of the branch's design and functionality takes account of flexible structure, new technology, effective consultancy and a positive customer service experience.

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The demands made of the design strategy lay in the need to expand on the modern retail environment that was created in Grandi branch and again reach out to the local community. In addition, the operating environment had to be capable of facilitating the high levels of relationship management and service levels to which the bank aspired. It also reflects the bank’s strong commitment to social media. A fundamental goal for the design was to ‘Deliver No1 Service’ in the local banking market.

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The design is expanded upon three distinctive, inter-linked zones:

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At the front of the branch, the ‘Quick Serve Zone’ integrates facilities for self-service and a quick-service or enquiry desks staffed by universal bankers, providing a fast and efficient operational space to serve the customers everyday banking needs by assisting them in the use, and promoting adoption of the self-service channels whilst promoting financial products.

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The ‘Community Lounge’ is located at the heart of the Islandsbanki’s branch in North Tower. This is a relaxed, purposely homely environment where customers can relax, enjoy complimentary coffee, socialise, and chat to the branch hosts. A key component of this space is the showcase and access to the banks social media channels. The bank has become a major digital communicator and each branch is represented on Facebook. The branch offers a wide range of events for customers and the community, discussing financial services or other business topics. In addition, the public space of the branch provides an important venue and showcase for the banks own equivalent of ‘Ted Talks’, and seminars.

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The final area, set off the central community lounge, is the ‘Engage & Advise’ zone. Consulting staff share agile meeting spaces, meaning they are each provided a dedicated workspace within the back office, coming forward when meeting customers in one of the shared cabin like meeting booth’s. This greatly improves operational efficiency and optimises retail space allocation, but also fundamentally shifts the focus of the one to one meetings according to the needs of the customer. A meeting room is situated above consultation rooms, which are built into a free standing structure in the centre of the branch, provide a focal point for the space and injects a sense of theatre into the design. The meeting rooms will continue to be a unique brand signature of the designs for future Islandsbanki branches, providing their own aesthetic for the spaces and a talking point for customers whom visit.

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'We are very proud of our new branch in the North Tower, where we meet the needs of Íslandsbanki customers. Providing high-level service will be our main role as we work towards our objective of meeting our customers’ needs and demands. Even though digital banking has advanced by leaps and bounds, demands for high-quality personal service have not diminished; they have changed. In the North Tower branch, we offer expert services from the branch’s certified financial advisors while also increasing options for all self-serve banking. For instance, special express service representatives will be available to assist our customers in order to make their visit to the branch as pleasant as possible. We place strong emphasis on giving our customers a positive banking experience,' says Una Steinsdóttir, director of retail banking.

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