HOT BLAST: Bank branches trimmed across the U.S.
Jul 09, 2013 | 1436 views |  0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Hialeah, Fla., in this 2011 file photo. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Hialeah, Fla., in this 2011 file photo. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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In 1988, the average bank branch was staffed by 20 employees. By 2014, the average shrank to 14 employees.

After the employees went, then came the branches. In 2010, banks shuttered 1,100 branches.

So reports The Washington Post's Lydia DePillis in The internet didn’t kill bank branches. Bank mergers did.

DePillis explains why:

It’s not because people aren’t depositing cash. Consumers who are less willing to spend money in a shaky economy are more likely to sock it away in a bank account (especially in Washington D.C., which leads the nation’s large cities in deposit growth). And it’s not entirely because people are banking online. Rather, it’s because a number of large banks in the same markets have merged–like Wachovia and Wells Fargo, or BB&T and Colonial–and decided to save on real estate costs by closing down branches.


In March, The Wall Street Journal found, "Nearly 20% of branch shutdowns over the past year were in towns outside the most populated areas of the country, according to the SNL data."
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