American Banker: U.S. lost 5% of bank branches between 2017 and 2020

American Banker, December 14, U.S. lost 5% of bank branches between 2017 and 2020

In an acceleration of a long-term trend, the number of bank branches in the United States has declined by 5.1% since 2017, a new analysis of regulatory data finds.

At the end of June, banks were operating 81,586 branches, a decrease of around 4,400 from three years earlier, according to a report by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The pace of decline — an average of 1,467 branch closures a year — is up from an average of around 800 branch closings a year between 2008 and 2017.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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