Right now, 94% of U.S. commercial districts are composed of bank branches. (The other 6% are takeout salad lunch places.) The good news is that we may have already witnessed the peak of the “bazillions of banks, everywhere you look” era.
The FT reports that, because the internet was invented and also mobile phone apps that allow you to do most things without ever going into a bank branch (hello!!!), the number of bank branches is on the decline. But not as much as you might expect:
The number of branches across the country has dropped by about 4,000 over the past six years, reducing the total to its lowest since 2006.
The decline, however, is equivalent to little more than 3 per cent. By last year there were still 112,000 branches, according to the Bancography data. That equates to roughly one branch for every 1,100 households.
One 2013 estimate said that Manhattan, which looks like it was carpet bombed with Chase branches, has only one bank branch for every 2,315 people, meaning the rest of America is even worse. Even now, countless Americans are likely trapped under bank branches that rained from the sky onto their hapless communities. The move of banking transactions online is sure to increase, and the number of bank branches infesting our cities and rural burgs is bound to decrease, and we may all thank the good lord for that.
The black lining of this silver cloud: this is representative of another trend that is sure to increase—jobs being wiped out by automation. Once all the bank branches get closed down, we can put something more useful in their place, like unemployment centers.