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U.S. Banks to close 5,000 branches by 2012

Banks’ declining profits and tighter profit margins will push them to close 5,000 branches nationwide within the next 18 months, bank analyst Meredith Whitney said in a research note on Monday.

Economy and Finance

U.S. Banks to close 5,000 branches by 2012



Banks’ declining profits and tighter profit margins will push them to close 5,000 branches nationwide within the next 18 months, bank analyst Meredith Whitney said in a research note on Monday.

Whitney, CEO of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC, said that reduced consumer and corporate appetite to borrow, mixed with new regulations, have permanently changed what was once a key source of industry profits.

In turn, banks will be forced to shutter some of their branches. There were 83,320 U.S. commercial bank branches at the end of last year.

“We believe the banking industry will simply no longer be able to service upwards of 10 percent of their current customer base,” Whitney said.

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