The FinancialBrand.com has a great description of ING Bank's new branch in Toronto. Key quote describing the branch:
"The first floor houses the café where people can hang out and enjoy free WiFi along with Peet’s coffee and other refreshments — all at discounted prices. A team of ING employees are on hand to answer questions about the bank’s products and services, but have no access to customer data so no transactions can occur."
ING's goal is to create a community-oriented space for ING customers, local businesses and entrepreneurs.
Even more interesting is the 2nd floor coworking facility, shown in the picture below. Quoting again from FinancialBrand:
"The second floor, called Network Orange, is a high-tech shared-office space for independent businesspeople. The Network Orange floor includes three high-tech meeting spaces with LED displays, webinar-ready video systems and digital whiteboards. There is also a large meeting space for up to 40 people — free for Toronto community groups, student organizations, non-profit groups, brainstorms, book clubs and “entrepreneur’s meetings.”"
ING currently has Cafe's in 7 locations with plans to open in San Francisco in the fall. No word yet whether or not the SF Cafe will include a coworking space.
This is a fascinating example of the new localism trend and the trend towards alternative forms of coworking facilities.
Click here to see more pictures.