Fintech: Southeast News

Fintech Southeast News curated each weekday for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee



Posted August 23, 2021


The banking industry has seen branch footprints shrink nationwide over the past several years as customers go mobile.

But South Carolina is going against that trend as the state had the highest number of new bank branch openings in the country last year, with seven new branches, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

South Carolina is just one of four states that had positive net bank branches between 2020-2021, where the number of openings outpaced the number of closings.

Despite shutting down 334 facilities nationwide since January 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. added 222 new branches in the same time period, according to the S&P data. This includes expanding into South Carolina.

This growth into the Carolinas, including Charleston, was announced in 2019 as part of a statewide $20 billion, five-year investment in its business and local economic growth.

According to Allison Reed, a spokesperson for Chase Bank, the company has opened four branches and nine ATMs in the Charleston area to date.

A new branch is also in the works on James Island. It is set to be built at the corner of Camp and Folly Road, on a lot that previously hosted a Subway and a Pizza Hut.

“We expect to open at least one more branch in the market on Daniel Island this year,” Reed said.

While the S&P report states that the company’s 2021 first-quarter earnings indicate that branch transactions “remained suppressed as its mobile user count grew,” Reed said opening new branches also serves as a spur to economic development in the community.

{mprestriction ids="1,4,9"}“When we build a branch, it lifts the whole community around it — contractors to build the branches, cafes and other small businesses to support the customer traffic — it’s a ripple effect,” Reed said. “The firm is actively hiring staff to support its new branches in the Charleston area.”

Statewide, Chase Bank employs 160 people across multiple lines of business and serves more than 620,000 consumers and 26,000 businesses, Reed said.

“Since we announced our expansion into Charleston in 2018, we have been full steam ahead,” said Alfonso Hernandez, S.C. market director for consumer banking at Chase Bank. “By locating our branches throughout all parts of this vibrant and growing city, we can help make sure more people have access to the financial resources they need to grow and scale their businesses, to become financially secure and to create and grow wealth.”

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