The news: Sen. Sherrod Brown sent a letter to the Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) asking the agency to meet with low- and moderate-income communities to talk about proposed bank branch closures in their areas.
The stats: Physical bank branches in the US have closed at an alarming rate even before the pandemic—particularly in vulnerable communities.
What’s driving closures:
Our take: The number of monthly branch closures fell to 49 in January, well below the trailing-12-month average of 161. But it's still necessary to consider the wider industry climate:
Fierce competition from digital banks, fintechs, and Big Tech—along with banks’ desire to increase deposits, cut costs, and nab Gen Z wealth—signal that the bank branch closure trend is here to stay.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Banking Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the banking industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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