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Branch Networks on a Downward Slope

New research from SNL Financial indicates the nation's branch total has been reduced by 390 during the third quarter of 2013.

Banks continue to close more branches than they open, as 390 locations were shuttered during the third quarter of 2013, according to new research from SNL Financial.

The states that lost the most bank branches were Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida which saw 25, 31 and 35 branches shuttered, respectively in Q3. The only state that has a net gain of branches in the third quarter was Nebraska, which gained one, along with the District of Columbia. For the year total, the U.S. had a net loss of 1,342 bank branches.

By metro area, Greater Indianapolis experienced the biggest reduction in branches during the third quarter, followed by the Chicago area and Greater Denver, the SNL analysis found.

Banks customers continuing to move to digital channels is one of the main drivers of the continued branch reduction, said SNL, along with the continued M&A trend in the industry as banks consolidate branches to save costs after closing deals.

However, the report noted that despite the dire statistics, branches are not headed for "immediate extinction."

"They still serve as the public face of banks and provide an important marketing function in high-traffic neighborhoods," a portion of the report states.

[See Related: Accommodating the Evolving Branch with an Adjusted Model/a>]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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