Number of U.S. bank branches to shrink 20 percent in five years: real estate report

By By Olivia Oran Features Reuters

(Copyright Reuters 2017)

The number of bank branches in the United States will shrink by as much as 20 percent in five years, according to a report from commercial real estate firm JLL.

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This reduction comes as banks are looking for ways to cut costs and to encourage their customers to embrace mobile banking technology rather than completing basic transactions within a physical branch.

The U.S. banking industry could save as much as $8.3 billion annually if it trimmed the number of branches and downsized the average bank branch from 5,000 to 3,000 square feet, JLL found.

U.S. banks have reduced their footprint by around 8 percent since the financial crisis, from 97,000 branches to roughly 90,000.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)