More than 60 branches of major banks filed to close in just one week this month, the latest in a growing trend of banks shuttering physical locations.
A total of 64 branches filed to close branches between November 12 and 18, according to data from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, ZeroHedge reported.
The bank with the most closures was PNC Bank, the country’s sixth largest, which has been working on cutting costs lately.
PNC filed to shut down 19 branches across eight states, including five in Pennsylvania, four in Illinois, and locations in Texas, Alabama, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida.
During PNC’s second quarter earnings call, CEO William Demchak said the bank is “going to have to take a hard look” at where it can “generate savings … without cutting the potential for growth.”
Last month, PNC also said it was cutting 4% of its workforce. The bank has already shut down dozens of branches this year and is aiming for $725 million in expense cuts next year.
One factor driving the branch closures is the rise of online banking. During the pandemic, the number of bank branches shutting down doubled as more people stayed at home and banked through their bank’s website or banking app.
Between 2017 and 2021, about 7,500 bank branches, or 9% of all brick-and-mortar locations shut down, according to a report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
Last year alone, a net of 2,054 bank branches closed, according to data from S&P.
Although closing physical banking locations may save banks money, they have also created banking deserts for customers or areas where the closest bank is many miles away. This can cause a litany of other unintended effects, such as a decline in small business lending, as well as the area losing an employer and commercial tenant.
Also, when there are fewer branches in the area, more people use “alternative financial services that open them to unregulated and predatory financial practices,” a report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition said.
PNC’s closures are expected to result in 60% of its banking business being online.
JPMorgan Chase was the bank with the second most branch closure filings during the week of November 12. The bank filed to shutter 18 branches in 14 states including New York, Ohio, and Connecticut.
Citizens Bank filed to close eight branches, including six branch closures in New York.
U.S. Bank filed to shutter seven locations including three in Tennessee.
Bank of America filed to close five locations including two in New York, and one each in Texas, Massachusetts, and California.
Citibank filed to shut down two branches.
Several other banks filed to shut down one branch each, including Sterling, Bremer, First National Bank of Hughes Springs, Windsor Federal Savings & Loan Association, and Aroostook County Federal Savings & Loan Association.