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Truist to Close 3.5% of Branches as Customers Bank Digitally 

Truist Financial

Truist Financial will close 3.5% of its branches in March because more clients are choosing to bank with it digitally. 

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank is making the closures based on client behavior, branch traffic, transaction volume and other factors, according to a statement emailed to PYMNTS by a Truist spokesperson. 

“In response to our clients’ evolving preferences, these decisions create additional opportunities for investment in our digital capabilities,” the statement said. 

Following the closures, Truist will continue to operate more than 1,900 branches and 2,900 ATMs, according to the statement. 

Most of the branches that will be closed are located within two-and-a-half miles of another Truist branch, the statement said. 

To notify customers of the closures, Truist sent letters to all clients in mid-December, posted notices within the affected branches, and trained staffers to assist clients with any needs or questions, per the statement. 

The bank’s digital transactions jumped 9% year over year and now account for more than 60% of total bank transactions, Truist CEO Bill Rogers said during an Oct. 19 earnings call. 

This decision to close branches comes as Truist faces pressure to reset its strategy and reduce expenses, and has undertaken a $750 million cost-cutting initiative, American Banker reported Wednesday (Jan. 3). 

In addition to the branch closures, Truist has implemented several other measures to streamline its operations, the report said. This includes consolidating its commercial and community banking regions, merging its consumer payments and wholesale payments businesses, and creating a unified commercial real estate business. The bank has also made changes to its leadership team. 

Recent closure applications filed with the North Carolina Commission of Banks indicate shutdowns in multiple states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia, per the report. 

The number of job cuts resulting from the branch closures has not been disclosed, the report said. 

Rogers has stated that the $750 million cost-cutting initiative will be implemented over a 12- to 18-month period, the report said. The plan includes job cuts, organizational restructuring and reduced technology spending. 

The bank’s expenses were projected to rise by 7% year over year in 2023, one of the highest among major banks, per the report. Through its cost-cutting efforts, Truist aims to limit expense growth to no more than 1% in 2024.