Banks to People ratio

Here’s an article about how NJ has the highest ratio of bank branches to population. Seems to have a mixed reaction, as some residents think the competition helps provide cheaper services and more ATM locations, while others think the high rents these mega-companies can afford to pay may drive the mom-and-pop places out of business.

The number of new bank branches has grown at a rate four times the pace of the increase in North Jersey’s population, making the state one of the most competitive banking markets in the U.S., according to economic development experts. The branch-building boom has been good for consumers who benefit from greater convenience and increased competition, which pressures banks to reduce fees and raise deposit rates. But the fierce competition has made it more difficult for banks to increase earnings and that could result in more bank consolidation. Branch-building also has drawn fire from some merchants who say deep-pocketed banks have driven up retail rents.

Lo behold, we can credit notorious reader “Cracker” for sending this related article in. Thanks Crack-a!

Oh, and here’s a blast from the past, a “Motivational Poster” sent in by a reader last year:


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4 Comments on "Banks to People ratio"

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I wish PNC would put a branch back on Washington Street. Now that Quickcheck is gone and they’ve moved the branch to 1st, the only free PNC ATM left is in the Howe Center. We need some Wawas or something.

Obviously PNC doesn’t like people that live uptown.


Local market competition has little effect when it comes to consumer banking rates. The rates for your local Chase or Bank of America are established by corporate headquarters and based on averages across the country. For example, the tri-state area savings rates will be higher than the rates in Arkansas. The reason that it doesn’t matter all that much to them is that banking products are very “sticky”, and customers aren’t likely to uproot their bank accounts over a couple of basis points. That being said, larger banks are saturating markets like Hoboken because current banking strategy is to drive customers in to the branches and try to sell them more products. The more products you have with your bank, the less likely you are to switch to a new bank. So, if Chase puts a branch in Hoboken, than Bank of America is soon to follow because they are now competing for foot traffic and the business of local companies.


The problem is that the banks can pay mush higher rents and push the smaller stores to close or move off Washinton Street.
Not much fun window shopping banks, bars, real estate offices and nail salons.


All of this increased competition is leading banks to raise deposit rates? Perhaps someone should mention this to Bank of America, which literally cut their savings interest rates IN HALF last November – while Federal funds rates were holding steady, as were rates at banks out-of-state I have accounts with. There’s a cost to having all of these branches. Also, as the number of actual banks dwindles all over the area because a couple large ones are buying out all the smaller ones, I think that’s negating any real “competition” benefits, since the real competition is ending up between a couple of mega-banks vs. the many many local savings banks which used to be here.