June 22, 2021

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The eco brief. Local banking branches are melting like snow in the sun


HSBC has closed nearly 30% of its network. (BRUNO LEVESQUE / MAXPPP)

A survey by the Infostat Marketing Institute for Moneyvox, a site specializing in the comparison of banking, insurance and investment services. This study shows that 3,700 bank branches have closed in French territories since 2010. A drop of close to 10% over the decade. In 2010, all brands combined, there were 41,800 branches, last year, there were only around 38,000.

The study shows that it is the large traditional commercial banks that have closed the most local branches. HSBC is at the top of the ranking with around 100 sold out counters, or nearly 30% of its network. BNP Paribas is second with a 22% reduction, followed by Société Générale, whose merger with its subsidiary Crédit du Nord should result in the closure of 600 branches. Less damage on the other hand on the side of mutual banks whose customers hold shares. Crédit Mutuel has closed 85 branches in ten years, or 3% of its network.

In addition to the rise of online banks, which are increasingly competing with large traditional establishments, there is also the low interest rates which have weighed on results for several years. The question concerns the next step: will there still be neighborhood bank branches? The answer is clearly yes, because there will always be a clientele eager for human contact for advice, which is pushing certain establishments to imagine new concepts. La Bred, for example, has just created the bank by appointment only to continue to attract local customers. In reality, it is an entire sector that must reinvent itself.