Major financial institutions appear to be intensifying a pattern that has raised concerns among many conservatives: the shutdown of physical bank branches.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported on Friday that Major US banks have been closing branches across the country, leaving more and more Americans without access to essential financial services.
In total, 54 locations closed or were scheduled to close between October 1 and October 7.
Of these closures, three were in Louisville, Kentucky while eight of the 21 Bank of America locations shut down were in California.
These closings come after a DailyMail.com poll revealed that 51 percent of consumers expressed concern about the diminishing number of bank branches; only 18 percent showed no concern.
The survey further highlighted disparities in access to brick-and-mortar services among Black Americans – 14 percent said they did not have a local branch compared to 8 percent of White Americans.
The results of this month’s closures are seen as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase reported their third quarter earnings with higher interest rates resulting in increased revenues for both banks.
Major US banks are continuing to close branches across the US, leaving an increasing number of Americans w/out access to basic financial services
54 locations in the last week 👀
The Cyber & Certificate Authority madness hasn't even started yet!
— Michael Rae Khoury (@Vltra_MK) October 13, 2023
The Kiplinger Letter reported that over 3,000 bank branches have closed down nationwide.
Banks are closing branches faster than they’re opening new ones. U.S. banks closed over 3,000 branches last year while opening just 1,000. JPMorgan Chase led in branch closures last year, shuttering 144 branches, while opening 133. The trend will likely continue as banks face staunch competition for deposits and younger customers from online banks, fintech firms and Big Tech.
Note that the number of bank closures varies widely by area. Between 2017 and 2021, more than 7,000 branches were closed in the U.S., which represents 9% of all locations. One-third of these closures have been in areas with large minority populations.
The initial wave of closures was sparked by mergers and acquisitions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. More recently, changing consumer preferences and improved banking tech are the reasons given for ditching brick-and-mortar locations. It shows that big-bank investment in tech is paying off, as new apps and websites with an expanding array of services have lured more customers.
Clive Thompson, the Retired Managing Director of Wealth Management who formerly worked in Swiss Private Banking, asserted that at some point the global economy will enter a crisis.
He further suggested that banks will be closed prior to an announcement regarding the rollout of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
CBDCs | "At Some Point the World or a Country Is Going to Go Into a Crisis. When That Happens I Think They Will Close the Banks, You'll Wake Up On Sunday & Hear the News, Monday You'll Get the Announcement We're Getting the CBDCs."#CBDC#CBDCs#GreatReset#TheGreatReset… pic.twitter.com/W28QeLCdDW
— Clay "ReAwakening America" Clark (@TheClayClark) October 6, 2023