Bank branches proliferate in state

By Kay Nolan,  November 11, 2011

Although gloomy news about the nationwide banking industry has dominated recent headlines, new bank offices have proliferated in Wisconsin in the last few years, both statewide and in metro Milwaukee – and there’s little sign of easing up.

As of June 30, just-released statistics by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. show that Wisconsin has 2,389 bank offices, compared with 2,116 in 2000 – a 13% increase. From 2000 through the end of 2007, the state’s population increased only about 4%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kurt Bauer, president of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, said that industry futurists started predicting 10 years ago that brick-and-mortar bank branches would be less prevalent as more people bank online, over the phone or with ATMs.