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  • Brookline Branch

Florida Losing Bank Branches at a Fast Clip

SNL Financial

Florida is one of the leading states for closures of bank branches, according to a study by SNL Financial.

The state had a net loss of 79 branches during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, with 99 branches opened and 178 closed.

Closings exceeded openings during each quarter of that period, including nine openings versus 44 closings during the third quarter of 2013. It had more closings during that quarter than any state in the nation.

Branches certainly aren’t going extinct. Florida had 5,635 branches on Nov. 7, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The branch closure trend isn’t limited to Florida. SNL found that banks nationwide closed a net of 1,343 branches during the 12 months ended Sept. 30. Mergers have caused some of that, such as Branch Banking & Trust Co. (NYSE: BBT) buying Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic and shuttering branches that were too close to the pre-existing network. The spread of electronic and mobile banking is another reason so many physical locations aren’t needed.

The only states with a greater net loss of branches than Florida were Pennsylvania at 109, North Carolina at 92 and Georgia at 81.

Nebraska and Montana were the only states with a net gain of branches during that period. FDIC data shows that the most active branch openers in Florida in 2013 have been JPMorgan Chase Bank with 25, PNC Bank with six and TD Bank with four.

The FDIC doesn’t have a list of closed branches, but a comparison of branch totals in Florida on June 30, 2013 versus the year before shows a net loss of 20 branches at SunTrust, eight branches at Wells Fargo and seven branches at Bank of America.


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