US banks collectively cut 1500 branches last year

US banks collectively cut 1500 branches last year

US banks chopped almost 1500 branches in 2013 in an effort to offset sluggish revenue trends amid a slow-growth environment, according to data from SNL Financial.

The report cites the actions of KeyCorp, which in mid-2012 launched a company-wide efficiency initiative aimed at carving out costs and boosting the bank's bottom line.

Between June 2012 and the end of 2013, the Cleveland-based company consolidated 81 branch locations, or approximately eight percent of its franchise. Over the past 18 months, Key implemented annualised cost savings of $241 million.

Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and SunTrust Banks closed even more branches than Key during 2013, as consumers shunned the high street in favour of online and mobile banking.

Bank of America cut 327 branches from its network in 2013 and expects to cull even more in 2014 as mobile channels continue to take market share.

Capital One Financial, Hancock Holding and Citigroup are among other institutions looking to reduce the fixed expenses tied to large branch networks, SNL's report highlights.

In addition to shuttering or selling off branches, many banks are also working to remodel their branch networks, downsizing branches, packing them with self-service tech and using fewer staff to perform routine transactions, exemplified by Wells Fargo's experiment with mini-branches and PNC's pop-up branches.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 29 January, 2014, 16:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

On the other hand, according to FDIC figures quoted  by TheFinancialBrand.com in its article The Myth of Branch Decline, “Reversing three years of declines, the number of bank branches in the United States increased by more than 250 units in the 2013 FDIC reporting year." I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong here. 

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