News release

Evolving customer needs and net-zero targets top of mind for financial services firms

JLL experts identify the top five commercial real estate trends driving the financial services sector in 2023 toward a transformative year and long-term, sustainable growth

January 24, 2023

Kimberly Steele

Industries, Work Dynamics and PDS PR
+1 713 852 3420

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2023 – Financial services organizations have an opportunity to make 2023 a transformative year for their real estate portfolios. Though the industry faces challenges, including increased regulation and evolving customer and employee needs, financial services firms can look to the current economic climate as a catalyst to drive change.

JLL outlines five commercial real estate trends that will shape the transformation of organizations looking to infuse creative and cost-effective solutions to delivering a differentiated experience for both customers and employees that will enable long-term, sustainable growth.

“If 2022 was a year of experimentation in understanding the new phase of omnichannel for customers and the hybrid working environment for employees, then 2023 is a year of implementation,” said Bobby Magnano, President, Financial Services, JLL.

1.    The net-zero agenda

According to JLL’s Future of Work Survey, 78% of financial services organizations report their employees will increasingly expect the workplace to have a positive impact on the environment. Additionally, the research shows that 51% of firms plan to accelerate investment into embedding net-zero requirements in new location selection over the next three years.

Financial services organizations will need to accelerate their approach to achieving net-zero to meet intensifying, imminent regulatory requirements in 2023 by clearly defining commercial real estate climate metrics and reduction targets. Additionally, continued portfolio optimization presents an opportunity for financial institutions to decrease their carbon footprint.

2.     Unlocking opportunity in a downturn through innovation

In response to new regulations, evolving customer needs and growing competition, financial services firms face increasing digital and technical demands.

“Organizations can better position themselves for growth by accelerating digital innovation during economic disruption to improve operational efficiency and unlock new sources of value,” added Giles Wrench, Vice-Chairman, Financial Services, JLL. “Implementing a skills-led talent strategy to support future state operations will be a key driver of this digital transformation.”

Additionally, innovation strategies play an important role in attracting and retaining top talent. Gaining expertise in cloud computing, generative AI, machine learning and programming will be at the forefront of hiring objectives for U.S. banks and financial services firms. To remain competitive with other industries, providing talent within these growing functions with unique, intentional value propositions, including adapted workplace flexibility and workspaces that support innovative, diverse thinking will be key.

3.     A human-centric approach to the new era of work

Like all organizations, embracing human-centric workplace practices enables financial services firms to maximize collaboration and innovation and to support continuous workplace changes over time.

“While workplace strategies will vary across functions, the financial services organizations that center the workplace ecosystem around the employee experience will influence performance and growth as well as attract and retain talent,” Wrench said.

Additionally, workspaces designed to support inclusivity, along with a variety of workstyles and functions, are best equipped for success. Inclusive space accounts for not only physical accessibility but also for neurodiversity and gender-inclusivity and centers health and wellbeing.

4.     Embracing the omnichannel customer journey

Striking the right balance between physical footprint and digital channels in the face of rising cost pressures remains a top priority for banks.

“The pandemic accelerated digital banking adoption and bank branch optimization, but rapidly evolving customer needs for hyper-personalization reveal the value of a physical presence in the customer journey,” Magnano added. “The pace of branch consolidation has subsided recently as leading banks shift their business models and channel strategies to reinvest into existing branches and expand into key metro markets.”

To deliver a more seamless customer experience, banks can strategically invest in tech and data analytics to better understand and react to customer needs. Shifting branch staffing methods amid talent and wage pressures will also be of greater focus in 2023.

5.     Diversifying the location footprint to support business goals

Diversifying sites beyond traditional hubs is a cost-effective strategy that simultaneously supports business goals. Markets like Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Miami, Austin and Dallas that offer tech-focused, diverse talent pools can serve as centers of excellence to complement the head office. Building hubs that encompass multiple divisions of the organization will allow for greater employee mobility and support talent attraction and retention.

“By leveraging technology and data to optimize every space across their portfolios, banks can operationalize their diversified footprints to both maximize cost efficiency and enhance the customer and employee experience,” said Sarah Bouzarouata, Senior Research Manager, Work Dynamics Research, Americas, JLL.

In an industry that is rapidly transforming, JLL Financial Services offers the right alchemy of integrated technology, sustainability strategies and a forward-thinking approach to our banking, insurance, investment management and fintech clients. Whether clients are looking for us to optimize their real estate portfolios or manage their retail banking facilities, we serve as a trusted partner by developing real estate and advisory solutions to help accelerate growth while balancing risk. Armed with unmatched industry-focused intelligence and a dedicated understanding of the complexities of this highly regulated business, our experts deliver a consultative approach to clients with a spectrum of services and products throughout all stages of their real estate lifecycle.  

Our ethos towards hiring and training top talent and providing a seamless value-driven client experience has positioned JLL as a domestic and global market leader within the financial services commercial real estate business. Visit to learn more. 

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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 102,000 as of September 30, 2022. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit