The US is losing bank branches fast.
Between 2010 and 2019, the number of full-service bank branches fell from almost 95,000 to just over 83,000, according to a Quartz analysis of data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). That’s 12% of all bank branches across the country. As more personal and small-business finance happens online, the demand for bank branches is declining in many places.
Branch closures could speed up if the coronavirus pandemic causes bank failures, or if lenders endure losses that force them to cut costs. The virus could have longer-term implications if government-sanctioned lockdowns to contain the outbreak spur consumers to change their behavior. Some late adopters of digital banking may discover they prefer interacting with their bank on their phones and computers.
There are a number of other factors that predict whether a bank is likely to close. Select a bank here and we will tell you how likely it is to shutter, and why that might be. Our estimates are based on trends from the previous decade, so it’s possible the trend may slow down or speed up in the 2020s. (Due to some missing data from the FDIC, some banks are excluded from our data)
Methodological note: The relationship between bank closure and the bank branch features discussed in this article have been consistent over the last several years. We used historic data and these same methods to predict bank closure in 2017 and 2018, and they were accurate. For those banks that we estimated had a 5% chance of closing in the next year, about 5% of those banks did actually close. A coronavirus-led economic downturn could mean branches could close even faster, but if trends stay relatively close to what they have been, our estimates are likely a good predictor of the future of a bank branch. Our prediction was made using the statistical technique of logistic regression (pdf). Banks were excluded from our predictions if we were not able to access all of the data needed for our statistical model—such as information on total deposits or the income of residents in that bank’s ZIP code.