Nebraska an exception as bank branch totals dwindle

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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:00 am

Nebraska was one of two U.S. states to add bank branches in the past year or so, bucking the national trend toward fewer locations as mobile and online banking grow.

Nebraska banks added seven branches in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, industry researcher and consultant SNL Financial said. Iowa lost 11 branches during the period, SNL reported.

SNL said U.S. banks collectively reduced the nation’s branch total by 390 during the third quarter. That was about on par with the second quarter and marked a greater level of net closures than in the two previous quarters, when branch counts also declined, SNL said.

States with the most reductions were Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania, which led the pack with 106 closings. Montana joined Nebraska with additions of two branches. Maine, New Mexico and Washington, D.C., were near the bottom at reductions, with two or fewer.

While Nebraska added the most branches, the head of the industry’s trade group in the state said banks everywhere are aware of the demographic trends.

“Banks have to service the needs of traditional customers while offering all of the mobile and online services younger customers demand,” said George Beattie, president of the Nebraska Bankers Association.

Among the largest banks operating in Nebraska, several added branches between June 30, 2012, and June 30, 2013, the period covered by the most recent tally by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

>> Pinnacle Bank, based in Lincoln, added five new branches, now operating 61 in Nebraska.

>> F irst National Bank of Omaha, the largest bank based in the state, added two branches, operating 40 Nebraska outlets at the last FDIC count.

>> San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, the No. 2 in Omaha deposit-share behind First National, added one branch for a total of 46 in the state.

>> Union Bank & Trust, also of Lincoln, added one branch, to reach a total of 35.

>> Omaha’s American National Bank added one branch, now operating 27.

>> York-based Cornerstone Bank added one new office, for a total of 33.

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