Bank-branch boom skirts inner city

August 17, 2009
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Itâ??s no secret banks are tossing up branches left and right. IBJ reported last month that banks consider branches as billboards to lure new customers, even while bank transactions move online.

A new Associated Press analysis shows the boom is nationwide. In the past five years, banks have added 10,000 branches to bring the total to 99,000.

Moreover, the flurry of construction has targeted predominantly white, affluent suburbs rather than inner cities. Banks followed the rooftops as the boom in home construction pushed sprawl ever outward.

As a result, residents of inner cities have been forced to rely on non-bank institutions to cash checks and pay utility bills. Sometimes they also resort to payday lenders.

Banks  for the most part didnâ??t violate Community Reinvestment Act standards, the analysis showed.

How do you feel about the rush to the suburbs? Should the institutions be faulted for not putting more resources into inner cities?
  • I don't think that the banks should be faulted for not putting more resources into the inner cities, I think that EVERYBODY should. From grocers, retail, clothing stores and most importantly the people that have turned a cheek on inner city areas around the country. Indianapoils and the country at large need to priortize on a way to reinvest not only in the core of cities, but in the surrounding areas as well.
  • It would be nice if Bank One had one branch with a drive through on the southside of downtown. I'm having to drive to Garfield Park to make the company deposit.
  • Uhm... Bank One hasn't had any branches since early 2000s. I think you may be referring to Chase. And drive thru banks in downtown Indianapolis? That's repulsive.
  • KeyBank is building a branch (with a drive thru on the south side of the building) at 9th and Meridian. The branch will open in March of 2010.
  • Yeah, I'm glad Key decided to remodel the old building instead of tearing it down to build something more suburban.
  • Perhaps if the black ministers association would get off their high horse about too many blacks being imprisoned plus their influencing the early and often undue release of criminals, people wouldn't be so hurried to flee certain inner city areas.

    If you commit the crime, you should do the time, regardless of your color.
  • Speaking of Meridian Street near 9th, what is MSDKT building there? Is that their new HQ?
  • The cure for the inner city is high gas prices... which will return.
  • For a little perspective: Indianapolis is doing comparatively well compared to other cities in terms of the effects of suburbanization. The city's population continues to climb (at least in the most recent data I've seen) while many other Midwestern cities continue to shrink.

    We've seen examples of cities abandoned by its foundational institutions (Detroit and St. Louis are two examples). I think...I think...the city of Indianapolis and its suburbs might be smart enough to understand that the suburbs need a healthy city.

    The danger is that cities and suburbs will see each other as parasitic. I've read that much money made in the city then moves to the suburbs, which is a real problem. , suburbanites complain about paying for services in the city they may or may not use. We have to work together for a common good, which we don't always do well in this country.
  • They go where the money is, which is not in the inner city areas. The Downtown Core is one thing, but Inner City is another and if the Money isn't there, neither is the bank.

    And did someone say the cure for the inner city is high gas prices... WHAT? The people who are hit hardest by high gas are the people who can least afford it. While I am a huge supporter of the Alternative Energy movement, there is little to no benefit to anybody (outside of OPEC and Exxon) for high gas prices and certainly not the 'inner city'.

    This isn't about equality or access to banking or whatever, it is about Banks seeking out their customers (aka: those with the money to put in their banks). Pretty simple really.
  • CreamCrimson, the cure for the inner city is high gas prices...because high gas prices will most likely lead some people to trade a commute from the far suburbs for living in a city neighborhood where it's a 10 or 15 minute ride to downtown by bike, bus, or car.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.