By 1812Blockhouse

Ohio is witnessing a significant shift in its banking landscape, with multiple banks announcing closures of their branches across the state. This trend reflects a broader pattern of bank branch closures nationwide, but with Ohio experiencing a more pronounced impact.

So far, north central Ohio has been impacted on a limited basis with only the closure of the Park National Bank branch in Crestline announced to date. Still, that may well change as the shift continues

In recent weeks, several banks have disclosed plans for mass closures in Ohio. Notably, Huntington National Bank is set to close seven branches, Fifth Third Bank, a major player in the Midwest, is closing eight, and Park National Bank has announced the closure of twelve branches in the state. These closures add to the growing list of banks reducing their physical presence in Ohio.

The closures include a wide range of locations across Ohio, impacting numerous communities:

  • PNC Bank: 1040 MT. Vernon Ave, Columbus
  • US Bank: 375 West Main St, Owensville
  • Park National Bank: Locations in Cambridge, Athens, Zanesville, Newcomerstown, Pickerington, Crestline, Wooster, Celina, North Lewisburg, New Carlisle, Tipp City E, and Owensville
  • Huntington National Bank: Branches in Cleveland, Youngstown, Warren, Genoa, Canton, Berea, and Akron
  • Fifth Third Bank: Branches in Cincinnati, Columbus, Middletown, Rocky River, Columbia Station, Vermilion, Peebles, and Greenfield

Ohio’s banking sector is experiencing a higher rate of branch closures compared to the national average. Between 2020 and 2021, Ohio saw 4.8% of its bank branches close, which increased to 4.3% between 2021 and 2022. This trend surpasses the national average of 3.2% branch closures, highlighting a unique challenge facing the state’s banking industry.

The closure of these bank branches raises concerns about the emergence of ‘banking deserts in Ohio. These are areas where access to physical banking services becomes severely limited, potentially impacting the financial well-being and economic activities of local communities.

A concerning forecast suggests that if the current trend of bank branch closures continues, Ohio could face a future with significantly fewer bank branches within the next decade. This projection underscores the rapid pace of change in the banking sector and its possible long-term implications. One of the driving forces behind these closures is the increasing shift towards digital banking. As more customers manage their finances online or via mobile apps, the need for physical bank branches diminishes. This shift, while convenient for many, also raises questions about access to banking services for those less comfortable or familiar with digital platforms.

Image: DALL-E 3

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