RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Experts say online and mobile banking could be the reason behind shutting down around 600 Bank of America locations. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank giant is planning on shrinking its network by 10 %.
We still don't know which locations or how many in Richmond will close. Bank of America hasn't yet released a list. But when the announcement does come, customers and our area will be affected.
"Everyone's trying to do the same thing; everyone's trying to keep their money close to their vest," said Randy Cost, RBC Wealth Management.
According to Cost there's a huge chance Richmond will see less of the red, white and blue.
"The face of banking obviously is changing very rapidly. It's sort of the pre-generation internet folks that still go to a bank branch and the post-generation folks they never even have to step foot in a bank branch," said Cost.
While he doesn't actually step foot in one, Andrew Butler stops by a downtown location every day.
"It's actually really nice. It's about a block to walk there to get my money and then another block to get some food," said Bank of America customer Andrew Butler.
He'll be the first in line to talk about the inconvenience if his center shuts down.
"You'll see a lot less people. You'll see the Wendy's that's across the street - business will start to drop there. There's a lot of carts on Main Street - you know it drives traffic," said Butler.
That driving force behind the popular locations is what Randy says will keep our local economy moving.
"Richmond has been a really vibrant area for new bank branches. I mean we've had in the last 10 years, probably a dozen new banks. Richmond downtown is, which used to be a banking center, is searching for its identity," Cost said.
When the closures do come Randy Cost says the race will then be one to see who lands this prime real estate.
Statement to NBC12 From Bank of America:
The company continually evaluates its banking center franchise and decisions regarding its ultimate size have not been made. As we've said in the past, Bank of America actively manages its retail distribution network to meet evolving customer demands, including adding and consolidating banking centers based on needs of various markets.
While the number of banking centers may decrease in the future, new locations are being considered or built and additional functionality and services will be offered through the entire network.
Bank of America's banking centers have been and continue to be the cornerstone of the company's distribution model. At the same time, we are continually improving our online banking, mobile banking and ATM capabilities as more of our customers are using these channels for increased convenience:
- 29 million online banking customers conduct more than 3 billion transactions a year.
- In the month of June alone, the company set a record with nearly 21 million image-ATM deposits.
- Nearly 3 million customers manage their finances "on the go" with mobile banking.