Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An end to the bank branch glut?

Some passages from a Times article today:

[I]t seems highly likely there will be some branch closings and that the dynamics of the market for retail space in Manhattan could be altered, although not immediately.

Brokers say that eventually Chase will almost certainly want to shut some branches once Washington Mutual has been absorbed.

Chase has 121 full-service branches in Manhattan, and WaMu has opened about 45.

But shedding excess branches may prove problematic. For one thing, WaMu signed most of its New York leases in the last four years. Banks tend to favor 15-year leases, so a lot of these leases may have 11 to 14 years left before they expire.

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