NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In money matters, you may want to call millennials modern traditionalists. The generation born between 1980 and 2000 likes banking online but still wants to be able to walk to a neighborhood branch, according to a Goldman Sachs (GS) study.
Millennials' desires are important, and likely to become more so, because the population group is the largest in U.S. history -- numbering about 92 million. The segment has already transformed consumer retail, media and technology, New York-based Goldman says, and finance is next.
"By 2038, millennials will become the most important financial generation in America," said the bank, which interviewed 752 millennials over 18, with responders split almost evenly between men and women as well as younger and older millennials. "The industry will have to adapt to meet their needs."
The desire for a local branch, for instance, may prove significant to major banking companies as many are closing brick-and-mortar sites to focus on less costly digital services.
The number of local offices at the four largest U.S. banks -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM -Get Report), Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), Wells Fargo and Citigroup (C -Get Report) -- has dropped almost 4% to 19,747 in the past two years. Mobile businesses at the companies expanded 32% in the same period. Wells Fargo, meanwhile, has added 34 branches.