Nov
23

U.S. Banks to Close 5,000 Branches over Next 18 Months?

By
– Bloomberg.com

U.S. banks will close 5,000 branches in the next 18 months as they face profit declines from decreased loan demand and lower fee revenue, said Meredith Whitney, the former Oppenheimer & Co. analyst who now runs her own firm.

Banks face an “uphill battle” in generating loan growth as consumers reduce debt and will receive less revenue from fees because of new regulations and the lack of a securitization market, Whitney, 41, said in a report dated Nov. 18 and obtained today by Bloomberg News.

Whitney has said earnings pressures and new regulation will lead to some lower-income customers losing access to banking services. The number of households without access to the “traditional banking system” will rise to 41 million by 2015 from 30 million in 2009, she said in the Nov. 18 note.

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