New FDIC data shows reduction in banks, branch numbers

FDIC has published comprehensive U.S. bank data for the period ended June 30, 2010. It reported that the number of bank branches fell 1.0% year-over-year, to 98,514. The total number of banks (comprised of commercial banks and savings institutions) fell by a larger percentage, 4.4%, to 7,820.

It is worth noting that, at the height of the financial crisis, some industry commentators believed that the number of banks in the U.S. would fall by 50%.  At the current rate of attrition, this is very unlikely.  However, bank consolidation should continue, with banks that have weathered the financial crisis well picking up failed or vulnerable banks in order to expand their retail footprint.  This may involve some branch reduction, as overlapping branches are eliminated.  However, branch numbers should continue to decline at a lower rate than banks.

From a marketing and sales support perspective, bank mergers and acquisitions create both opportunities (expanded retail footprint; access to new products, services and technologies; potential entry into new customer segments) and challenges (rebranding acquired banks and branches; implementing consistent marketing and sales support processes; minimizing churn from acquired bank customers, etc.).