Greater Milwaukee Today: Bank branches closing across United States, and locally

Greater Milwaukee Today, April 5, 2022, Bank branches closing across United States, and locally

Downtown Waukesha residents may have noticed a few different bank branches throughout downtown Waukesha have closed over the years. According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., this is part of a nationwide trend.

Data collected by the NCRC says that two-thirds of banking institutions have disappeared since the 1980s. This was found to be due to mergers and acquisitions, along with a shift to mobile and internet-based transactions. According to the NCRC, banks took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by doubling the pace of their branch closures. According to a February press release, more than 4,000 physical bank branch locations have closed since March of 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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