WILL THERE BE MAJOR BANK BRANCH CLOSINGS?

As one by one banks are swallowed up by the few financial institutions still standing, the question becomes: What about my bank? Will my branch still be there in a month or two? It’s a valid question, and with the announcement that Chase plans to close several WaMu sites, it becomes more and more likely that the answer to the question is no. Certainly many of our poll respondents doubt bank branches will escape unscathed. A staggering 78% expect to see major branches close. Only 22% doubt the closures will be widespread. Mark Zurlini, a principal with Palisades Financial, forsees closures not only in bank branches, but in other businesses as well. Here are his thoughts:

“Now stand the big three: Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. With each of these banks growing by consolidating through acquisitions, there stands to be overlapping of branches, not only in major cities (Washington Mutual has 139 branches in New York City alone that may be closed) but also on Main Street America. In Main Street locations, the vacated branches will be leased or sold to the many well-capitalized local banks that believe they are positioned to capture deposits and increase their market share with the promise of better customer service.

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