2020 is shaping up to be pretty dire for most of us. But will it be cryptocurrency companies or bankers that get hit hardest in this uncertain economic climate? Just four days after President Trump declares a national state of emergency in the U.S., Wells Fargo announces the closure of two of its North Carolina branches.
Wells Fargo Cites ‘Economic Trends’ Among Motives
Wells Fargo revealed plans to close two more bank branches across the North Carolina state to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. According to a spokeswoman for the anti-crypto bank that was recently embroiled in a billion-dollar fake account scandal, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Maegan Lewis said that the closures:
were not easy decisions or something that we took lightly.
Apart from being the fourth-largest bank in the U.S., Wells Fargo is also one of the largest in the North Carolina state. Last year, the bank hit the crypto headlines when the bank tweeted that it didn’t allow transactions involving cryptocurrencies. Later in the year, the bank decidedly changed its mind and launched its own stablecoin digital currency.
The announcement of shuttering branches from east to west will not go down well with its affected customers.
The banks in question are the Elizabeth City branch on the N.C. coast and another in Franklin in the far west of the state. Lewis added:
We continually evaluate our branch network and make adjustments based on customer use, market factors, economic trends and competitor actions… In the case of both branch locations, we’ve seen customer traffic decline for the past few years as a result of more and more customers choosing digital options for many of their banking needs. As a result, more transactions are happening outside our branches.
A Trend That Looks Set to Continue
As more and more banks across the country start temporarily closing down branches or offering limited services amid the coronavirus outbreak, the trend toward transactions happening outside of branches doesn’t look set to reverse any time soon.
And in fact, Wells Fargo isn’t the only U.S. bank trimming its list of branches in this state. Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp has also notified regulators that it will be closing down one of its branches in Greensboro.
As mounting economic pressures, a looming global recession, and panic sparked by the pandemic spur customers into withdrawing their cash savings, U.S. banks are faced with the very real threat of an impending run.
Perhaps when the banks are empty and people can’t access their savings, the reality will hit. You don’t need a third-party to transact in crypto–and the real criminals are the ones printing the money not mining it.
What do you make of Wells Fargo’s latest branch closures? Add your thoughts below!
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