- The number of U.S. banks has dropped to below 7,000 for the first time since records began in 1934, falling to 6,891 in Q3 from a peak of over 18,000.
- More than 10,000 banks disappeared between 1984 and 2011 due to consolidation or failure, with 17% collapsing. Tighter regulation makes it much harder to open banks.
- However, overall bank deposits and assets have increased.
- "Seven thousand is still an awful lot of banks," says David Kemper, CEO of Missouri-based Commerce Bancshares, especially with brick-and-mortar branches becoming less profitable.
- However, there are those who worry that the loss of community banks hurts the economy, as they are more likely to lend to small businesses than big institutions are.
- ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, KRS
at Nasdaq.com (Nov 17, 2014)