In targeting unique needs of millennials, bankers are on to something

Shirley Leung makes interesting observations about whether there is a need for a bank that targets millennials and young entrepreneurs (“Does Boston need a bank just for millennial clients?” Business, Oct. 27). “Boston needs another bank like it needs another Dunkin’ Donuts,” Leung notes. True, but that misses the larger point. Its not another bank, per se, that’s needed, but a bank that recognizes the differentiated needs of millennials, who are now the largest customer segment in the country, having surpassed baby boomers.

Each generation banks differently. I enter a bank branch a few times a year, while my father knows all the staff at his local office and they know him. My teenage children are likely to never enter a branch, except perhaps to access a safe deposit box or visit a notary. Millennials and those who follow are native users of mobile devices and biometric technologies. Banks that wish to serve these customer segments need to deliver banking services in innovative ways.

It’s not necessarily Bank & Trust Company of Boston that is needed, but the progressive thinking that the bank’s leadership is proposing. Perhaps the most interesting observation is that the bank’s founders are not young techies but so-called old-school bankers who seem to recognize a new market need. Traditional banks will be well served to take notice.


Ian Rubin