BMO Harris Bank has decided to close two dozen branches in four states — nearly one year after the bank was formed following the merger of Harris Bank and the newly-acquired Marshall & Ilsley Bank last year.
The Chicago-based bank will shutter 17 branches in Wisconsin (eight in the metro Milwaukee area), five in branches in Indiana, one in Illinois and one in Kansas, reported BusinessWeek.
Reasons for the branch closings include low customer volume and a review of geographic overlaps between the Harris and M&I locations. “In some instances, there were branches right across the street from one another,” Jim Kappel, a BMO Harris spokesperson, told BusinessWeek.
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BMO Harris currently has 660 branches in 10 states, most of which are in the Midwest. The majority of the bank’s deposits are in Chicago and Milwaukee.
The branch closings are slated for early October. BMO Harris is sending notifications to impacted customers so they can prepare for the transition to a new branch. Employees at the closing branches will be given time to find positions within the company. In prior branch closings, more than 80% of employees found new jobs at the bank, Kappel added.
Bank of Montreal, the Canadian parent of Harris Bank, completed the acquisition of M&I Bank in July 2011 and combined them to create BMO Harris. It is the 15th-largest retail bank in the U.S. by deposits, according to first-quarter 2012 data from SNL Financial, a financial analysis and research firm.
BMO Harris has announced 43 branch closings since the acquisition, with 20 already underway before the takeover, Kappel added. During a 2011 investor presentation following the acquisition, the bank said it operated 680 locations. This fall, after the upcoming closings, BMO Harris is expected to have 643 locations.
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