Wells Fargo will now close several more branches this year after informing its federal regulator, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, of its nationwide action.
The bank is expected to close another 23 branches this year, reports Journal Now.
“There have been at least 65 Wells Fargo branch closings in North Carolina, including three in Winston-Salem and nine in the Triad, since July 2020.”
In July of 2023, it was reported that Wells Fargo closed its Flourtown, Montgomery County, branch as more and more customers begin to switch to digital banking.
This is a trend we’ve seen all year as online-banking only banks have attracted an array of new customers primarily due to their high-yield offers.
“Wells Fargo has made the difficult decision to close the Flourtown branch on Wednesday, October 4, 2023,” according to a statement from the bank.
“Until then, customers can use each branch and bank with us as they always have.”
“This is not an easy decision or one we take lightly,” the bank said.
“Branches continue to play an important role in the way we serve our customers, and we continuously evaluate our branch network in light of changing customer needs, the increase in the use of digital banking and market factors.”
Wells Fargo has closed branches in the Lehigh Valley and nearby counties.
And in Philadelphia, Wells Fargo has closed 17% of its local bank branches since 2020.
PNC is not far behind, shuttering 15% of its branches in the Philadelphia area, per the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Bank of America has also followed suit, closing 5% of its physical locations in the region, as well.
Physical Bank Locations Are Falling Fast
According to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Bureau (FDIC), large commercial U.S. banking locations have fallen from 8,000 in 2000 to 4,236 by 2021 and 4,194 by 2022.
The spider web of U.S. branch bank offices tied to big banks has slid significantly, as well.
“US banks closed 149 branches and opened 49 in March, resulting in a total of 78,588 active branches,” S&P Global Market Intelligence data reported on April 28, 2023.
If the trend of current bank branch closings continues there may be no bank branches left in 10 years.
Self Financial estimates the number of U.S. bank branches will fall from about 60,000 in 2023 to approximately 15,660 in 2030 – and continue falling until there are no bank branches left by 2034.
Bank executives say consumer attitudes have changed with the times.
At Wells Fargo, the banking giant is reporting a plunge in face-to-face teller transactions.
“Our branch network will continue to be the key to the business, but our customers expect us to provide them with increasingly digitized and seamless banking experiences across all channels,” President and CEO Charles Scharf noted on a recent quarterly earnings call.
“The banking industry is withdrawing from the most vulnerable communities in the country at an astounding clip despite the resumption of normal economic activity in mid-2021,” said Jason Richardson, director of research at the National Community Restoration Coalition.
“After using the initial lockdown phase of the pandemic to double the rate of branch closures, banks maintained that alarming pace in the past year.”
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