Branch traffic fell more than 30% in April and the first three weeks of May compared with the same period last year, according to Novantas, a financial-services research firm. Teller transactions dropped 32% in March and April compared with the same period last year, Novantas said.
The forced shift toward mobile banking delivers an important win for traditional banks, which have been trying for years to steer people away from branches and toward apps and websites for routine transactions. If customers adapt without much complaint, that could give banks fresh reasoning to expedite planned closures and consider additional ones.
U.S. Bancorp, the country’s biggest regional bank, said the shift will likely present opportunities to accelerate branch consolidation. Chief Executive Officer Andy Cecere expects to close more than the 10% to 15% targeted by the bank in 2019, he said during an industry conference last month. The bank counted about 3,000 branches at the time. Those closures were set to happen over two years.