WSJ: Banks Close 1,700 Branches in Fastest Decline on Record

Inge Hogenbijl – February 6, 2018

Banks reportedly are shutting brick-and-mortar physical locations at the swiftest clip in decades as customers continue to conduct more business online.

The number of U.S. bank branches plunged by more than 1,700 in the 12 months ended in June 2017, the biggest decline on record, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data.

Banks have realized they could maintain deposit levels with fewer locations in a digital age where customers often prefer banks’ mobile apps and ATMs.

Branch numbers also fell in the second half of 2017, according to related data submitted to bank regulators and reviewed by the Journal. “That would add to the thousands of locations closed following the financial crisis, and is the longest stretch of closures since the Great Depression,” explained.