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(Marketwatch)   Banks have closed 1,700 branches in the past year, the fastest pace ever. Mostly because they don't feel they need to have an entire building dedicated to holding accounts with a $5 balance   ( marketwatch.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Wall Street Journal, Great Depression, financial crisis, recent 12-month period, large regional lenders, Financial Corp COF, Regions Financial Corp, branches  
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741 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Feb 2018 at 6:35 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-06 05:24:46 PM  
What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days
 
2018-02-06 06:37:15 PM  

themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days


This.  Last time I went to a branch was 2009.
 
2018-02-06 06:42:37 PM  
A lot of banks these days are just IT companies that specialize in banking transactions, so warm bodies making change and etc. are becoming largely unnecessary.
 
2018-02-06 06:54:43 PM  

themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days


It's pretty rare that I go, but I have to darken Wells Fargo's door once a month if I want to make an extra principal payment on the car note that they hold (not by my choice, that's who had the best rate on financing the thing). Any extra you add to the payment online goes to the next payment, not principal.

I imagine they're hoping that people just pay extra online assuming it goes to principal so they can not pay it down quite so quickly.
 
2018-02-06 06:56:55 PM  
Some of them probably just opened too many branches in the first place. Do you really need more than one within a five mile radius?
 
2018-02-06 07:00:31 PM  
Mobile check depositing really ended any reason I had to go to a branch location
 
2018-02-06 07:07:15 PM  
We keep a savings account with a minimal balance at a convenient local bank. We rarely make use of it, but it's been worth it for oddball stuff like cashier's checks and notarization/medallion type service. But none of their products are competitive, so if they start charging us a dime or annoy us in some other way, we'll drop them and deal with that stuff as needed.
 
2018-02-06 07:10:00 PM  

buzzcut73: It's pretty rare that I go, but I have to darken Wells Fargo's door once a month if I want to make an extra principal payment on the car note that they hold (not by my choice, that's who had the best rate on financing the thing). Any extra you add to the payment online goes to the next payment, not principal.

I imagine they're hoping that people just pay extra online assuming it goes to principal so they can not pay it down quite so quickly.


I know you can do online principal payments on a WF mortgage.
 
2018-02-06 07:17:08 PM  

BMFPitt: themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days

This.  Last time I went to a branch was 2009.


Apparently kids these days don't have safe deposit boxes.

I found this out when I switched from a bank to a credit union and found they don't have safe deposit boxes in most locations.
 
2018-02-06 07:17:48 PM  

Fallout Zone: Mobile check depositing really ended any reason I had to go to a branch location


Hot damn what a great idea that was.  I love being able to deposit a check via a camera.
 
2018-02-06 07:28:32 PM  

kudayta: Fallout Zone: Mobile check depositing really ended any reason I had to go to a branch location

Hot damn what a great idea that was.  I love being able to deposit a check via a camera.


You have 9/11 to thank for that.  3 days with no planes exposed the drawbacks to moving paper checks around.
 
2018-02-06 07:29:30 PM  

kudayta: Fallout Zone: Mobile check depositing really ended any reason I had to go to a branch location

Hot damn what a great idea that was.  I love being able to deposit a check via a camera.


I feel like that really just extended their lifespan. A lot of other countries got rid of them a long time ago in favor of free instant bank transfers (which a few banks have finally started offering here).

/American banking is actually pretty crappy in general when you think about it.
 
2018-02-06 07:39:48 PM  
Guess with the average wages going up, banks have to close branches so that they can remain record profitable.  Because in bank math, spending 100 dollars and making 300 dollars on year one, then spending 100 dollars and making 250 dollars on year two is a loss.

I moved to a credit union in 2013 and haven't looked back since.
 
2018-02-06 07:43:40 PM  
How is this a Fail? Banks have fewer branches because fewer people need to go in to branches to do their banking. And that's a good thing for customers. We're still doing the same things, just more conveniently.

I moved to North Carolina about six months ago, and so far I've been to the bank exactly once, to put some papers in a safety deposit box. I'm honestly a little worried that if I ever need those papers, I won't remember where my branch is...
 
2018-02-06 07:46:49 PM  

themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days


Try getting $10k in cash from an ATM.

/hostage situation
//used car, actually
 
2018-02-06 07:47:16 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Apparently kids these days don't have safe deposit boxes.

I found this out when I switched from a bank to a credit union and found they don't have safe deposit boxes in most locations.


Or buy a car with cash with a cashier's check.

/car dealerships generally don't take personal checks for the full balance of a vehicle.  maybe you can wire it, but that's also a bit of a headache to deal with.
 
2018-02-06 07:47:20 PM  

BMFPitt: buzzcut73: It's pretty rare that I go, but I have to darken Wells Fargo's door once a month if I want to make an extra principal payment on the car note that they hold (not by my choice, that's who had the best rate on financing the thing). Any extra you add to the payment online goes to the next payment, not principal.

I imagine they're hoping that people just pay extra online assuming it goes to principal so they can not pay it down quite so quickly.

I know you can do online principal payments on a WF mortgage.


Yeah, this seems odd to me. It's been a while since I had a car note, but it was with WF and the extra did go to principle automatically. I suspect state banking or lending laws come into play here, and since CA is a nanny state there's probably a law that demands extra payments go to principle.
 
2018-02-06 07:52:16 PM  
Banks have fewer branches due to consolidation. As small banks get eaten by another institute that already has branches in the same area, duplicates get closed.

I know this from experience; I managed the IT for a regional bank until we "merged" with a local competitor. All 17 of our branches were within half a mile of one of theirs (some within eyesight), and all of ours were closed with only one exception. My wife was a banker in one, and we were both made redundant at the same time. Which was fun!
 
2018-02-06 08:14:16 PM  

Nightjars: itcamefromschenectady: Apparently kids these days don't have safe deposit boxes.

I found this out when I switched from a bank to a credit union and found they don't have safe deposit boxes in most locations.

Or buy a car with cash with a cashier's check.

/car dealerships generally don't take personal checks for the full balance of a vehicle.  maybe you can wire it, but that's also a bit of a headache to deal with.


CarMax let me write a personal check for my wife's car.  I just had to show them my current checking account balance to prove that I had the funds.  It was a cheap ($14K) car, so it might be difference for a more expensive car.
 
2018-02-06 08:14:48 PM  

majestic: themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days

Try getting $10k in cash from an ATM.

/hostage situation
//used car, actually


lucky you weren't pulled over by a cop at the time. You would of lost the money.
 
2018-02-06 08:18:13 PM  
They've been overbranched, especially in cities, for years.  Part of the real estate bubble.
 
2018-02-06 08:19:42 PM  

cyberspacedout: Some of them probably just opened too many branches in the first place. Do you really need more than one within a five mile radius?


That is the case around here but I haven't seen any branches close. It seemed like for a couple years every new commercial development that popped up had a bank branch of some variety. It seemed strange to me.
 
2018-02-06 08:54:27 PM  

mrlewish: majestic: themindiswatching: What's a bank branch?

/does all banking online these days

Try getting $10k in cash from an ATM.

/hostage situation
//used car, actually

lucky you weren't pulled over by a cop at the time. You would of lost the money.


Haha! I'm a white Gen-X guy. Nothing ever happens to us. The pharmacist was able to re-up my "lost" prescription today just because.
/clobetasol... I spilled it
//insurance did't want to fill it, too recent
///pharmacist told the insurance company that he'd called for authorization from my doctor
////thanks, man
 
2018-02-06 08:58:05 PM  
And as usual Bank of America does the opposite.  They are entering the Minneapolis market and today I passed three branches that were not there six months ago.

My accounts with the exception of credit cards are with credit unions.  I wander in to a branch every few months with a fist load of dirty change but otherwise all electronic.
 
2018-02-06 08:58:41 PM  

cyberspacedout: Some of them probably just opened too many branches in the first place. Do you really need more than one within a five mile radius?


Depends. Ever been to a rural branch on Friday payday? Like the fall of Rome, so many damn people making withdrawals.
 
2018-02-06 08:59:49 PM  
I go to the bank to return foreign currency change I end up with.  Try to spend it if useful but not arbitrarily so.  I guess you can do that with a ATM?
 
2018-02-06 09:00:44 PM  

roostercube: Yeah, this seems odd to me. It's been a while since I had a car note, but it was with WF and the extra did go to principle automatically. I suspect state banking or lending laws come into play here, and since CA is a nanny state there's probably a law that demands extra payments go to principle.


The way they have it set up now is that if you send a check and mark a box on the payment slip, extra will go to principal. Online, goes toward next payment unless you're three ahead, then it goes to principal. If you want to make an online payment (or through your own bank's bill pay, which is what I do) then you have to go to a branch to make the principal payment after the online payment has posted (thus making this month's payment current).

Being as this is Wells Fargo, I'm guessing it's to keep people paying interest as long as possible by making it slightly inconvenient to pay down principal on the note.
 
2018-02-06 09:54:12 PM  

Shagbert: Banks have fewer branches due to consolidation. As small banks get eaten by another institute that already has branches in the same area, duplicates get closed.

I know this from experience; I managed the IT for a regional bank until we "merged" with a local competitor. All 17 of our branches were within half a mile of one of theirs (some within eyesight), and all of ours were closed with only one exception. My wife was a banker in one, and we were both made redundant at the same time. Which was fun!


Yep. I worked for one of the national banks who was buying out regional banks. The very first thing we did was fire all the IT staff within days of closing the deal. Then shutdown any branch that was remotely close to another. At one point we bought out three regional banks within months of each other and ended up having a branch on every corner of an intersection. We fixed that quickly.
 
2018-02-06 10:22:31 PM  

Keyser_Soze_Death: A lot of banks these days are just IT companies that specialize in banking transactions, so warm bodies making change and etc. are becoming largely unnecessary.


I have a... an aquaintance, lets say, who wanted to run a credit union as an branchless bank. It sounds less silly now that I think about it, he was the IT guy for a credit union, just the theme he wanted to build the CU around, well,  it would have drawn the hacking establishment to just pound on it.
 
2018-02-06 10:41:14 PM  
There is a Chase branch that occupies a nice chunk of prime real estate in my town.
Half the property is consumed by a six lane drive thru.
Only one lane is actually open and the rest just have cars parked in them.

A Developer recently tried to get a high rise built there but Chase made them include at least a two-lane drive-thru that would pass through the first floor.
The City Council rejected the plan and also pointed out "who will be using a drive-thru by the time this gets built as no one uses the current one?"
 
2018-02-06 10:52:44 PM  
Credit union just held my electronic IRS refund for five days in  "pending" status.
Guess they had to make sure it was good.

/Yes, American banking sucks.
 
2018-02-06 11:29:23 PM  
I still wrap my change (ugh, I hate change).  I refuse to use check pictures (That just sounds like the most hideously insecure thing on the planet.  I'm more worried that people can do that with MY checks, but thankfully I pretty much only send checks to the IRS).

But I only deal with both like once a year.

Branches still need to exist though.  I'm not gonna get a mortgage or something like that from an online bank.  Will happily keep my savings in an online bank though!
 
2018-02-07 12:42:01 AM  

jake3988: I still wrap my change (ugh, I hate change).  I refuse to use check pictures (That just sounds like the most hideously insecure thing on the planet.  I'm more worried that people can do that with MY checks, but thankfully I pretty much only send checks to the IRS).

But I only deal with both like once a year.

Branches still need to exist though.  I'm not gonna get a mortgage or something like that from an online bank.  Will happily keep my savings in an online bank though!


I never have had a mortgage, and don't intend to any time soon, but what I've been told is that some banks that have good rates will originate a loan and then sell it, and that can be a nightmare scenario if, for instance, they are supposed to pay taxes for you and it falls through the cracks. At least one bank I know of where I live specifically advertises that they don't sell their loans - although you may pay more in interest.

So the warm fuzzy "hometown bank" marketing might actually mean something if you want to buy a house.
 
2018-02-07 12:43:45 AM  

Fallout Zone: Mobile check depositing really ended any reason I had to go to a branch location


Same here. And at that, I just went to the ATM to deposit any checks.  (My health insurance reimburses for prescriptions so that's why I get checks).  I have no need to actually go into a bank for any reason.  When I need laundry quarters, I just put in for $10 or $20 cash back at the grocery store
 
2018-02-07 01:21:38 AM  
The only time I go inside my credit union is to get a stack of $2 bills. I'm doing what I can to keep them in circulation. I especially like tipping with them.
 
2018-02-07 03:34:21 AM  

Nightjars: itcamefromschenectady: Apparently kids these days don't have safe deposit boxes.

I found this out when I switched from a bank to a credit union and found they don't have safe deposit boxes in most locations.

Or buy a car with cash with a cashier's check.

/car dealerships generally don't take personal checks for the full balance of a vehicle.  maybe you can wire it, but that's also a bit of a headache to deal with.


I discovered my bank started charging quite a bit for cashier's checks unless you have a certain amount in your account, or the check's for a certain amount, I forget which.
 
2018-02-07 08:20:07 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: jake3988: I still wrap my change (ugh, I hate change).  I refuse to use check pictures (That just sounds like the most hideously insecure thing on the planet.  I'm more worried that people can do that with MY checks, but thankfully I pretty much only send checks to the IRS).

But I only deal with both like once a year.

Branches still need to exist though.  I'm not gonna get a mortgage or something like that from an online bank.  Will happily keep my savings in an online bank though!

I never have had a mortgage, and don't intend to any time soon, but what I've been told is that some banks that have good rates will originate a loan and then sell it, and that can be a nightmare scenario if, for instance, they are supposed to pay taxes for you and it falls through the cracks. At least one bank I know of where I live specifically advertises that they don't sell their loans - although you may pay more in interest.

So the warm fuzzy "hometown bank" marketing might actually mean something if you want to buy a house.


Almost had my house foreclosed when my mortgage got sold twice within a year, and the update to direct payment didn't work.
 
2018-02-07 09:09:54 AM  

wildcardjack: Keyser_Soze_Death: A lot of banks these days are just IT companies that specialize in banking transactions, so warm bodies making change and etc. are becoming largely unnecessary.

I have a... an aquaintance, lets say, who wanted to run a credit union as an branchless bank. It sounds less silly now that I think about it, he was the IT guy for a credit union, just the theme he wanted to build the CU around, well,  it would have drawn the hacking establishment to just pound on it.


US banks pay 'hacking establishments' to perform regular penetration testing from both inside and outside their branches. They do this to locate any potential vulnerabilities prior to annual audits by federal agencies that also perform penetration testing.
 
2018-02-07 09:29:08 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: jake3988: I still wrap my change (ugh, I hate change).  I refuse to use check pictures (That just sounds like the most hideously insecure thing on the planet.  I'm more worried that people can do that with MY checks, but thankfully I pretty much only send checks to the IRS).

But I only deal with both like once a year.

Branches still need to exist though.  I'm not gonna get a mortgage or something like that from an online bank.  Will happily keep my savings in an online bank though!

I never have had a mortgage, and don't intend to any time soon, but what I've been told is that some banks that have good rates will originate a loan and then sell it, and that can be a nightmare scenario if, for instance, they are supposed to pay taxes for you and it falls through the cracks. At least one bank I know of where I live specifically advertises that they don't sell their loans - although you may pay more in interest.

So the warm fuzzy "hometown bank" marketing might actually mean something if you want to buy a house.


Yeah my friendly hometown bank ended up selling my mortgage to Countrywide back in 2007....
Currently have to deal with WF. I wish they had a coinstar thing to go against principal. Hey look, I foind 17 cents on the ground! *plunks it into the machine*. Now I'm out from under their thumb *does fuzzy math* 5 MINUTES SOONER!
/beers all around!
 
2018-02-07 02:43:42 PM  

Nightjars: itcamefromschenectady: Apparently kids these days don't have safe deposit boxes.

I found this out when I switched from a bank to a credit union and found they don't have safe deposit boxes in most locations.

Or buy a car with cash with a cashier's check.

/car dealerships generally don't take personal checks for the full balance of a vehicle.  maybe you can wire it, but that's also a bit of a headache to deal with.

The last two vehicles I purchased from a dealership were paid in full with a personal check.
 
2018-02-07 05:03:30 PM  
I wish my town had fewer banks. It doesn't make for a very lively downtown, though I'm sure they pay their rent on time. Can't really blame the landlords.

I just did a quick google double-check. Fifteen. There are fifteen banks in this town of 30k people. That doesn't even include ATMs - only branches with tellers. I hate it.
 
2018-02-07 08:40:55 PM  

Dinodork: Yeah my friendly hometown bank ended up selling my mortgage to Countrywide back in 2007....


Are you saying they lied to you about not selling it or what? My point was about banks that don't sell them.
 
2018-02-07 11:01:02 PM  

Keyser_Soze_Death: A lot of banks these days are just IT companies that specialize in banking transactions, so warm bodies making change and etc. are becoming largely unnecessary.


The same goes for most loan companies like Ditech. They have a handful of people running computers at their head office, and the companies pool their resources together to hire local muscle on an independent contractor basis, whenever someone misses a payment.
 
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