Does New York City Need More Bank Branches?

The question: "Why are there so many damn banks? Why did we even download this sweet banking app that's supposed to do everything short of pushing cash out of the headset jack?"
May 20, 2014, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Lauren Evans laments the expansion of TD Banks in New York City—with 15 new locations by the end of the year, TD Banks will bring its "Empire" to 126 branches. Just so we're completely clear on Evans's political allegiances, TD Bank is described as an "unstoppable homogenizer of a city once fertile with independent businesses."

Evans argues that many branch services can be replaced by smartphone technology, and that the expansion of TD Bank service branches "involves razing time-honored city treasures to make way for another soulless green edifice…"

An email Chris Giamo, regional president for TD's New York metro area, explaining the benefits of the expansion sparked Evans's ire. Unfortunately the email is not shared in full, but Evans finds Giamo's explanations for the bank's expansion to be lacking a desired apology.

Not mentioned in Evans's analysis of the expansion of TD Banks are data on how many of the new banks are located in one of the state's Banking Development Districts, created to provide incentives for banks to locate branches in low-income neighborhoods. Nor does the article describe the nuances of the ongoing debate about the usefulness of ATMs for under-banked, low-income populations. Nor does the article examine the merits of claims that many banks are spreading branches to the outer boroughs because that's where a large population of under-served immigrant entrepreneurs lives and works

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Published on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Gothamist
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