Magazine article American Banker

National City to Shut Down or Revamp 200 Branches

Magazine article American Banker

National City to Shut Down or Revamp 200 Branches

Article excerpt

National City Corp. is moving to close or reconfigure 200 of its 750 branches over the next three years.

The Cleveland-based company plans to transform 110 traditional branches into "bank-express" offices, replace 60 with supermarket locations, and close or sell 30.

Other major banks are doing the same sort of thing.

Wells Fargo & Co. has been aggressively replacing hundreds of conventional branches with supermarket facilities. Likewise National City would be doubling its supermarket locations, to 120, over three years.

Other big Ohio banks are also shuttering and transforming branches. Banc One Corp. of Columbus said last month it would consolidate 200 branches over the next 18 months, replacing some with automated locations. Cleveland-based KeyCorp is selling or closing 280 this year as part of a restructuring.

The $52 billion-asset National City is moving to close branches more deliberately than some of its competitors.

As part of a normal review of its branch network, National City has closed or sold 100 branches in its four-state territory over the past three years, chief financial officer Robert G. Siefers said in an interview.

The company plans to officially unveil its strategy at a meeting with analysts in Cleveland next month.

Mr. Siefers said some of the divestitures might occur in small towns in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, but the review would be across all of National City's markets, which also include Indiana and Kentucky.

"'We have to look at the profitability of small, rural banks," Mr. …

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