NL: Banks closed 93 percent of branches since 2001

AMSTERDAM - Banks in the Netherlands have closed about 93 percent of their branches since 2001. At the start of the century, the Netherlands still counted 6,100 bank branches. Now there are about 320, RTL Nieuws reports. 

Many bank branches closed in the past few years. At the beginning of 2020, Rabobank still counted 335 branches. It now has 136. ING went from 170 bank branches to 57 now. ABN Amro only has 27 bank branches in the country.


You can only find one ABN Amro branch in six of the twelve Dutch provinces. 


SNS, which is considerably smaller than ABN Amro, ING, and Rabobank, has by far the most bank branches at over 200. The bank says it wants to remain close to customers for personal contact. “There are plenty of customers coming into the branches.” 


The other three banks say they are closing branches because fewer and fewer customers need them. Over the past four years, the number of ING branch visits has fallen by almost 80 percent, ING spokesperson Albert Opoku said to the broadcaster. ING expects the number of branches to decrease further in the coming years. “At the moment, offices are still needed.” 


At ABN Amro, the number of customers who visit a branch dropped almost 50 percent between January 2021 and October 2022, spokesperson Hans-Sjouke Koopal said. Some offices only get five or six customers a day. “If three or fewer customers come an hour, it signals that there is no longer any need from customers.” ABN Amro doesn’t have a goal for how many branches to keep open. “We want to stay present in the region, also for business customers,” Koopal said. 


According to Casper de Vries, professor of monetary economics and Erasmus University in Rotterdam, bank branches are still needed at the moment but might not be in the long-term. "But I can imagine that at least one branch will remain open per province, also because you sometimes have to drop in," he said to RTL. 

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