Popular Bank Partnership-Rick Brattland Story

New York City, NY

PROJECT OVERVIEW Reading Time: < 1 minute

Partnering with The Element Group happened almost virtually overnight

Having known Nate Baldasaro from prior business relationships helped lay the foundation to reach out when the need arose at Popular Bank to reduce the number of locations but still achieve a high level of assets under management (AUMs). Popular went from a $10B bank with 100 branches to $5B AUM bank and back to $10B AUM with 50 branches – same AUM but 50% fewer branches. In New York, rents are very high. Popular needed to scale down its footprint in current branches to 2,500 square feet. There was also the demand to make each of the locations a “branch of the future”.

The first project was located at Avenue U in Brooklyn. This project was plagued with problems because the previous tenant had illegally removed a wall creating an open space. Construction had already begun when this was discovered and to legally open the branch it took six months to resolve with the city. Element stuck with Popular Bank through this challenge and when this location was finished it looked phenomenal!


  • Popular Bank

Financial institution type

  • Bank



the challenge

branch of the future

In order to achieve their branch of the future goals, Popular Bank has committed to working with Element on all 51 branch projects throughout the United States. Element’s team has created a design that can scale with the signature elements so that their brand identity stays true and committed to their goals. In addition to the design components of the projects, Element helps construct branches in places that are better suited to the Popular Bank demographic, and where their customers are located.

Popular Bank was previously known as Banco Popular. Many prospects assumed that the bank served only the Hispanic population, but their demographic reach has expanded well beyond that. Popular completed a rebrand in the Winter of 2018 and Element was alongside to change out graphics, ATM surrounds, digital signage, and all of the other signature elements that needed to reflect the new branding.


every bit matters

Digital banking branch experience

80% of the banks across the country are waiting to see what is going to happen with digital banking. A lot of banks are waiting to see what the branch experience is going to be. Popular Bank knows and understands that they can’t sit and wait – they have to move forward. Element has helped with that because the proto-model design is flexible and can be adjusted by location resulting in saving time and construction costs. It’s more the technology that is changing rather than the physical footprint.

The methodology behind Element’s approach and design helps to orchestrate our customer’s journey from the physical to the conversational spaces created in each location. The design of our branches has transformed from the days of teller counters with 1-inch thick bullet proof glass to teller pods that are open and engaging. That experience gets amplified by the digital engagement and a personal touch to banking that has defined Popular’s branch of the future.


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