Branch Closures Not to Be Confused with Service Shortage

Although more than 16,000 bank branches closed from 2013 to 2018, new analysis shows the effects of these closures—especially on low-income and rural communities—have been minimal. In an ABA Data Bank post on Friday, ABA's Hugo Dante compared branch closures across census tracts and found that only 5% of branch closings have taken place in low-income areas. (See the graph at the end of this email.) Further, many banks, particularly community banks, are opening more branches on net than they are closing.
The overall drop in branch counts has been driven primarily by changes in demographics and consumer preferences, Dante wrote. Younger generations have shifted toward urban and suburban areas, and seven in 10 Americans now use mobile devices to manage their bank account at least once per month. “While banks today are rethinking how best to deliver services to their customers, the service offerings do not change and in fact have expanded to serve customers more conveniently.”

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