Banks’ digital media centers often resemble a bullet-pointed Word document, circa the mid-1980s. As newsrooms are the website space designated for banks to broadcast their most newsworthy news, it's interesting that from a design perspective, most banks have left their newsroom pages to fossilize and petrify.
However, a few banks are breaking free of the monotonous newsroom mold to offer up a content product that’s actually alluring.
Here’s our top 5.
In 2014, BNY Mellon released its revamped newsroom, and boy, a lot of thought went into it. After years of going down the beaten press release track, the megabank decided it was time for a change. “We recognize that that’s not how people consume their news currently,” said Colleen Krieger of the bank’s corporate communications in the newsroom’s release video.
Instead of bullet points, the newsroom is organized more like a magazine interface, in keeping with millennial reading preferences. The content itself matches the design’s millennial vibe, with world finance news coexisting happily with top exec interviews, blockchain experiment announcements, and tips from BNY Mellon interns.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States’ largest bank by total assets has invested in its news design, and it shows. Although the newsroom itself is fairly drab, their news tab is current. The bank hasn’t entirely done away with the bullet-point press release system, it’s only one facet of the newsroom - and it's in blue. The rest of the newsroom consists of a mix of written, visual, and video content arranged in boxes of varying sizes.
For the parent company, the newsroom is very community-oriented, showcasing a number of programs and bank employees that are dedicated to giving back. While Chase’s newsroom is a grid of boxes with smiling people giving down-to-earth financial advice, it appears the company doesn’t think this relaxed vibe should extend to its investment arm. JPMorgan’s newsroom is a press release listicle in blue.
United KingdomThe Royal Bank of Scotland The UK's third largest bank by assets easily wins the UK newsroom design competition. While the Kingdom's other four big banks have stuck with the tried-and-true bullet point system, RBS' newsroom is much more similar to JPM's boxed blog-like format, with vibrant images to go with a wide range of topics: financial advice, economic analysis, developments and the bank, and CSR.
Deutsche Bank also seems to have grasped the basic principle that the listicle newsrooms of yesteryear are out. Instead, the German bank’s media center has opted for an assortment of boxes with news inside. However, the design - and the content - is much less vibrant than BNY Mellon’s. The colors are more subdued, the boxes are side by side, not interlocked, and the announcements are for bankers, not youngsters.
Still, replacing the list system with the box system demonstrates that Deutsche Bank is thinking out of the box. Interestingly, online German bank N26, whose tagline is “Banking by Design", wasn't particularly creative with its newsroom design.
ING Bank’s newsroom design is a long way from BNY Mellon’s Pinterest-like interface, but it wins points for adding a splash of color, the brand’s trademark orange, as well as pictures.
So while their newsroom is still just press releases, it looks more like a media publication than a list typed up on a word processor that’s still running on Windows XP.
At least they’re trying.