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KeyBank To Close Downtown Tower Branch

KeyBank logo, image of a red key
KeyBank

Dayton’s KeyBank Tower will no longer house a branch of its namesake bank. KeyBank plans to consolidate several of its locations in May of this year. This follows local branch closings of PNC Bank, Fifth Third Bank and Park National Bank in 2020.

As more people deposit checks on their smartphones and make payments online, physical bank locations have been on the decline. Since 2008, Ohio has lost more than 300 branches, about 10% of its total bank branches, according to data from the Financial Deposit Insurance Corporation.

“How clients interact with our branches continues to change at a rapid pace and we have seen a steady increase in client preference for digital banking,” KeyBank said in a statement. “Since the pandemic began, those trends have increased at an even higher rate.”

But closing brick and mortar branches can shift costs onto the consumer, said Terri Friedline, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan who studies financial system reform and consumer protections.

“You now have to afford your cell phone and your data plan...You have to pay for the high-speed internet access at your home or you have to travel to a library or another public spot where you can get access,” she said. “While those things are seemingly small, they compound and add up to real costs in people's lives”

The closings disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous and other communities of color because these groups have less access to financial technology, she said. A study she conducted looking at U.S. ZIP codes found that as a community’s Black population increased, the rate of high-speed internet access, smartphone ownership, and online and mobile banking decreased. The opposite was true as a community’s white population increased, even in poor white communities.

“For folks, especially those on the margins who have low incomes and who may have limited data plans and less access to high-speed internet, when you can't afford those costs, you lose access to your money when you lose access to those technologies,” she said.

KeyBank’s downtown Dayton branch will consolidate into its Eastown branch. The Patterson Road and Whipp Road branches will consolidate into the Arbor branch, and the Burnett Plaza branch will consolidate into the downtown Springfield branch. The bank will continue to use its downtown offices in KeyBank Tower, and does not expect the consolidations to result in job losses.