New York Metro Area Loses 20 Bank Branches: Report

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A new report shows the New York metro area has 20 fewer bank branches today than it did a year ago, despite a net gain of five branches in the city.

"New York City seems to have escaped pretty well," said David Hayes, senior analyst at SNL Financial and co-author of the report.

The areas around the city, however, did not.

The highest net losses came in Union, Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey. The Garden State lost 31 bank branches overall, more than New York state, which lost 22. Pennsylvania led all states with a net loss of 83 bank branches. Nationwide, banks closed 767 branches during the year that ended June 30.

HSBC closed 12 branches in northern New Jersey in August 2011 as part of a consolidation effort across upstate New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Hundreds of branches were shuttered.

The bank also closed 10 branches in New York City during the period, more than any other bank. 

The move was spurred by "evolving patterns of customer behavior," an HSBC spokesman said in an email, adding that the branches that closed lacked "strong international connectivity."

The bank branch growth in New York City was driven by one borough in particular — Queens, which added a net of four bank branches.

"People are starting to recognize that the 2.3 million people who live in Queens represent a lot of investment dollars," said Jack Friedman, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

According to Friedman, community banks and TD Bank have added branches in Queens.

Nationwide, the metro areas that saw more bank openings than closings were Miami, Los Angeles and Seattle.