US banks continue to trim branches

US banks continue to trim branches

US banks and thrifts trimmed a net of 343 high street locations in the third quarter of 2014, continuing the trend of branch closures.

Over the past four quarters, the country's banks and thrifts - excluding credit unions - have opened 1137 branches and closed 2599 for a net loss of 1462 branches, according to data compiled by market intelligence firm SNL Financial.

Bank branch divestures have been a hot topic in 2014 as the nation's biggest banks respond to consumer migration to online and mobile channels. Many of the banks responsible for the most closings and sales are among the largest players in the US market, like Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase.

Bank of America led all banks with 41 net closings in the third quarter, says SNL. Over the past four quarters, the bank has closed 148 net branches and in 2014 alone has completed the sale of 84 branches. The company had 4975 branches as of 5 November, matching a target set by the bank in 2012 to trim the branch count from 6000 to below 5000 outlets.

With four net openings, Toronto-Dominion Bank was the most active branch opener in the third quarter of 2014, despite closing a net 10 branches over the past four quarters.

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