59 bank branches shut down in matter of days

Major banks in the US have suddenly shut down dozens of branches in just the last few days, further indicating the banking industry is facing hard times under the Biden administration.

You don’t see it in the news much, but there is an ongoing wave of bank closures sweeping the United States, hitting major banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, PNC Bank, Citizens Bank, Citibank, U.S. Bank, and JPMorgan Chase. All told, 59 branches across multiple states reportedly closed their doors in just the last week, however, Zero Hedge is reporting the number is 64. It’s a trend that has been gathering steam over the last few years.

“Between Nov. 12 and 18, several banks filed to close branch locations, with PNC Bank with the most filings, according to data from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank filed for 19 branch closures—five in Pennsylvania, four in Illinois, three in Texas, two each in Alabama and New Jersey, and one each in Indiana, Ohio, and Florida,” Zero Hedge reported also pointing out that PNC is the sixth-largest U.S. bank.

PNC shut down 47 branches in June, followed by another 29 closures in August. The goal was to shut down 147 locations and take 60 percent of the bank’s business online according to The U.S. Sun.

“JPMorgan Chase followed closely with 18 filings—three in Ohio, two each in Connecticut and South Carolina, and one each in 11 states, including New York, Illinois, Florida, and Massachusetts,” the outlet continued.

Citizens Bank was next on the list, taking third place with eight branch closures. Six of them in New York, one in Massachusetts, and one in Delaware. U.S. Bank closed down seven branches. Three of them in Tennessee and one each in Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Bank of America closed five branches… two in New York and one each in California, Massachusetts, and Texas. Citibank closed two branches.

Wells Fargo also shut down 13 branches the week before that according to This is Money.

“The recent closures are part of a long-term branch shutdown trend that has been ongoing over the past several years. A report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition shows that between 2017 and 2021, 9 percent of all bank branches shut down. The closure rate doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zero Hedge noted.

“According to data from S&P, there were 3,012 branch closures last year and 958 branch openings, leading to a net closure of 2,054 branches. This was the third consecutive year that net closings exceeded 2,000,” the news outlet further elaborated.

Digital banking has been a major factor in the closures and it exploded as a trend during the pandemic. According to a survey from the American Banking Association (ABA) taken in September, 8 in 10 Americans used a mobile device to handle deposits or other banking matters at least once during the previous 30 days.

“Digital banking tools have made it more convenient and more secure than ever for consumers to manage their finances,” Brooke Ybarra, ABA’s senior vice president of innovation strategy, asserted in a statement.

It’s much cheaper to run a bank digitally instead of using brick-and-mortar establishments and everything that comes with them such as employees, insurance, and a myriad of other costs.

Closing down banks, however, can force those in small towns to have to travel a long way to find a branch in case they need one. Many people opt to find an alternative to that scenario.

“When bank branches close, there are several adverse effects on the surrounding community. Small business lending and activity in the area declines. More people use alternative financial services that open them to unregulated and predatory financial practices. An important commercial tenant and employer are lost,” the National Community Reinvestment Coalition report concluded.


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