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Forbes: 3 Major Banks Plan More Branch Closings As Thousands Shutter—In U.S. And U.K.—Amid Covid, Digital Growth

Forbes, April 24, 2021, 3 Major Banks Plan More Branch Closings As Thousands Shutter—In U.S. And U.K.—Amid Covid, Digital Growth

The move toward expanded digital services, pressures arising from the pandemic and a desire to cut costs has led to thousands of bank branches to close on both sides of the Atlantic, a pattern that seems irreversible to many observers.

According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a grassroots organization advocating for the underbanked, the number of U.S. bank branches dropped from 85,993 to 81,586, a 5.1% decline, between 2017 and 2020.

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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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