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(Natural News)—JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank, will have shut down 159 branches across the country by the end of 2023.
For Chase Bank’s customers, these closures represent serious inconveniences, if not outright terrible disruptions to their lives. Services previously offered by human bank tellers and other banking professionals who used to staff these now-shuttered branches have now been replaced by automated customer service helplines. (Related: Largest banks in America have collectively cut 20K JOBS so far this year.)
Twenty states have or will be impacted by the Chase Bank branch closures. Some, like Wisconsin and Wyoming, will only have one branch closed in each state. Others have more than a dozen branches being shut down by the end of the year.
California is the hardest hit of all, with the state recording a total of 46 branches that will have closed by the end of the year.
Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada and Utah will see two branches shut down in each state by the end of the year. They are followed by Connecticut and Michigan with three branches each; Arizona and Florida with five branches each; and Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington with six branches each.
Along with California, three other states will see double-digit number of Chase Bank branches shut down by the end of the year: Texas, New York and Illinois, with 13, 17 and 24 branches, respectively.
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Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi Bank also shutting down hundreds of branches
The latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation notes that approximately 8,000 bank branches were in operation in the U.S. in 2000. By 2022, this figure had been halved. Other Big Banks in America are also reporting dozens of bank closures, including the Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank.
According to data provided by the Bank of America to the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, the bank will be shutting down 138 locations. To date, at least 95 of those branches have already been closed. Fifteen more will shutter by the end of the year, and the remainder will stay open up to 2024.
Wells Fargo has closed 61 branches so far – a number expected to increase to 65 before December. A spokesperson for the company claims many of its customers are already taking advantage of “our wide range of digital capabilities for many of their banking needs.” As a result, fewer and fewer transactions are being carried out in person in branches.
“We continually evaluate our branch network in light of changing customer needs, increased usage of digital banking and market factors,” added the spokesperson.
Citigroup, the parent company of Citibank, claimed that its shuttering of branches not just in the U.S. but globally is part of a shift in the company’s strategy to focus on wealth management. The shuttering of Citibank branches is aimed at focusing on more affluent clients and generating higher returns through feel while simplifying operations and reducing complexity and capital requirements.
Citigroup’s wealth division handled $746 billion of wealth globally in 2022, significantly lower than Bank of America’s own wealth management division, Merrill Lynch, which had an asset size of more than $2.8 trillion in the same year.
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