Wells Fargo and Bank of America Are Closing Over a Dozen Branches
Locations are widespread, affecting smaller communities and major cities.
With the rise of online banking, you can do more and more with your money through an app or website. Still, there are times when you need to visit a brick-and-mortar location to grab cash from an ATM or to secure a cashier's check. You probably know where your bank's local branch is, and it's comforting to know you can stop by in a pinch. But if you're a Wells Fargo or Bank of America customer, your closest bank might soon be on the chopping block. Read on to find out which of these banks' branches are closing for good.
READ THIS NEXT: Walgreens and CVS are Closing Even More Locations.
The number of bank branches overall has been on a steady decline.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo aren't the only two financial services companies cutting back on branches. In July, PNC Financial Services Group announced that it would be closing a total of 135 locations inside grocery stores, Business Journals reported.
The Pittsburgh-based bank chain kicked off closures this fall, with plans to continue shuttering branches over the next year. The majority are located inside Giant Food and Stop & Shop supermarkets in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., with a handful within ShopRite stores in Pennsylvania. According to Business Journals, this isn't too surprising, as the removal of bank branches from retail stores is part of a larger trend.
However, traditional branches aren't safe either, and closures are nothing new. According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) data cited by CNBC Select, roughly 8,000 banks were in operation in 2000, but 22 years later, just half survive. Recent waves have even created "banking deserts," leaving neighborhoods and communities without a bank or credit union in a 10-mile radius.
Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America were forced to temporarily close locations in late 2021 due to a labor shortage and a surge in COVID-19 infections, but now, they're shutting locations permanently.
Wells Fargo is closing branches nationwide.
When banks are closing branches, they are required to notify the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) at least 90 days ahead of the closing date via an Advance Branch Closing Notice, according to the Comptroller's Licensing Manual. These closures are documented in a weekly bulletin, the latest of which was published on Oct. 29.
According to the recent bulletin, Wells Fargo is closing a total of 14 branches across the country. Individual locations will be shut down in Chicago; San Francisco; Jersey City, New Jersey; Denver; Richmond, Virginia; Chandler, Arizona; Surfside Beach, South Carolina; Minneapolis; and Ponte Vedra, Florida. New York will lose two branches in New York City and Manhasset, while Texas will lose two branches in Austin.
Last year, Wells Fargo closed the most retail locations out of any other bank, according to CNBC, shutting down 267 branches. Numbers continued to fall this year, according to Winston-Salem Journal; at the end of June, the company operated a total of 4,660 locations, but that number was down to 4,612, as of Sept. 30.
Bank of America is saying goodbye to East and West Coast locations.
Bank of America has fewer closings on the docket, but they will be shutting down a location in Darien, Connecticut; two locations in San Francisco; and a location in West Newton, Massachusetts. According to Bank of America's store locator, the Darien location will close on March 3, 2023, but no additional information is listed for the three other branch closings.
Best Life reached out to both Wells Fargo and Bank of America for comment, but has not heard back yet.
Other banks are shuttering branches as well.
Wells Fargo and Bank of America aren't alone in their closure plans, per the OCC bulletin. JPMorgan Chase Bank is closing seven locations in Michigan, New York, Texas, and California. Citizens Bank, a regional chain, has four closures reported, all in Pennsylvania; and another regional operation, First Financial Bank, is closing seven branches in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois.
Closures affect everyone—illustrated by the latest closures in both major metropolises and smaller towns—but CNBC reports that "low-income and majority-minority communities" are hit the hardest. If you're losing your brick-and-mortar bank, you still have options, and thankfully, most banking issues can be addressed virtually. But CNBC also recommends looking into online-only banks, as a study from J.D. Power found that they might be even better in terms of customer service.