National Banks Closing More than One Thousand Branches in US in 2019

Adam Rust

Since the beginning of 2019, national banks have announced plans to close 1,267 bank branches. These developments represent a continuation of the gradual pullback in the use of branch banks as a means to deliver retail banking services. Economists like to say that consumers make choices by “walking with their feet,” and in this case, those feet are not walking inside branches.

The news is not entirely dark for branches. In 2019, national banks have proposed to open 432 new branches.

If recent trends continue, then most of the closures will occur in rural areas or when two banks with overlapping footprints have elected to merge. The merger of BBT with SunTrust, when approved, should lead to more than one hundred closures, as there are many places where both banks have a branch in the same neighborhood.

·        U.S. Bank says it will close 196 branches. Ithas indicated that it will open ten new establishments.

·        Bank of America has given notice that it willclose 129 branches.

·        Capital One says it will shutter 72 of its sites while opening only four. Capital One has made an effort to redesign its branches into something approaching a café, with free Wi-Fi and power outlets. While the newly-designed stores do not carry groceries, some have snack machines and coffee bars. The result is something that looks like a mashup of an Apple Genius Bar and a Barnes & Noble. You may have seen their ads about these new branches. Have you seen their ads about their plans to reduce the number of branches?

·        Wells Fargo plans to close 144 branches and open one.

Are there any banks who are still committed to opening branches?

JPMorgan Chase is opening branches. The New York bank has been expanding its footprint lately, and in fact, it recently announced that it would add approximately fifty branches in North Carolina alone. Those branches are not counted in this list even though the announcement was made this summer because the bank has not identified the specific locations. In all, new branch applications from Chase comprise a shocking 43 percent of all new branch establishments for 2019.

No other bank comes close. The next closest is Woodforest National Bank, where it has given notice that it will open 31 new locations. Woodforest is known as the bank that operates in-store offices inside Walmart stores.

For relevant information (with regular updates), please go to this page on WiseWage's blog to see new closings.

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Counts of announced branch closures by state:

• California: 110 closures, 34 openings

• New York: 107 closures, 27 openings

• Pennsylvania: 73 closures, 44 openings

• Florida: 70 closures, 29 openings

• Ohio: 70 closures, 26 openings

• Texas: 68 closures, 38 openings

• New Jersey: 60 closures, 6 openings

• Illinois: 59 closures, 15 openings

• Wisconsin: 53 closures, 5 openings

• North Carolina: 42 closures, 13 openings

• Michigan: 40 closures, 2 openings

• Indiana: 33 closures, 5 openings

• Louisiana: 30 closures, 9 openings

• Washington state: 29 closures, 4 openings

• Arizona: 27 closures, 7 openings

• Maryland: 26 closures, 23 openings

• Connecticut: 25 closures, 5 openings

• Massachusetts: 25 closures, 12 openings

• Virginia: 25 closures, 13 openings

• Colorado: 24 closures, 14 openings

• Oregon: 18 closures, 4 openings

• Missouri: 17 closures, 5 openings

• Nevada: 17 closures, 8 openings

• Tennessee: 17 closures, 6 openings

• West Virginia: 17 closures, 0 openings

• Idaho: 16 closures, 3 openings

• Georgia: 15 closures, 16 openings

• Minnesota: 15 closures, 6 openings

• Kentucky: 14 closures, 3 openings

• Utah: 14 closures, 4 openings

• Iowa: 12 closures, 2 openings

• Alabama: 10 closures, 2 openings

• New Hampshire: 10 closures, 2 openings

• New Mexico: 10 closures, 0 openings

• Rhode Island: 9 closures, 1 opening

• Maine: 8 closures, 0 openings

• DC: 7 closures, 7 openings

• Oklahoma: 7 closures, 5 openings

• Mississippi: 6 closures, 4 openings

• Montana: 6 closures, 1 opening

• Nebraska: 6 closures, 0 openings

• Kansas: 5 closures, 2 openings

• South Carolina: 5 closures, 8 openings

• Arkansas: 2 closures, 7 openings

• South Dakota: 2 closures, 0 openings

• Vermont: 2 closures, 0 openings

• Alaska: 1 closure, 0 openings

• Delaware: 1 closure, 5 openings

• North Dakota: 1 closure, 0 openings

• Wyoming: 1 closure, 0 openings

The experiment of putting a bank branch inside a grocery store may be over. Since the beginning of the year, US Bank has announced plans to close five offices located inside a Von’s, five at Albertson’s, two Food City stores, a Dominick’s, five Meijer’s, three Kroger’s, and fifteen Safeway grocery stores. Bucking a recent trend, US Bank is also closing four branches that had been located inside retirement homes. U.S. Bank is not alone, either. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are closing locations inside Safeway and Albertson’s stores. PNC, Associated Bank, and about a half dozen community banks also intend to close locations inside grocery stores. Nonetheless, the exception to the rule will be Woodforest National Bank, who as I mentioned earlier has said will open 31 new branches. They will be located inside Walmart stores.

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