For the first time in 15 years, banks across the United States are closing branches faster than they are opening them, eliminating locations in Massachusetts, other parts of New England, and the rest of the country.
Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank, plans to close 1 in 10 branches nationwide by 2014, including some in Massachusetts. Webster Bank of Waterbury, Conn., plans to close a half-dozen branches, including one in Mansfield, in October. Rockland Trust and Community Bank of Brockton are each closing three branches.
Overall, banks have eliminated more than 1,400 US locations in the past two years. And almost every week, more branches go dark.
“The industry is overbranched,’’ said Bob Meara, senior analyst with Celent, a financial research firm in Boston. “Banks are doing triage with their branch networks and closing the least profitable ones.’’
Going back to the days of grocery store outlets, leasing instead of owning real estate. It's all about location and consolidating branches to reap more profits.
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