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Two banks set to close 5 branches in Massachusetts

Bank of America, People’s reveal consolidations

Bank of America Corp. and People’s United Bank said they plan to close five Massachusetts branches in coming months as part of efforts to streamline their operations.

The closings come as banks across the country shrink branch networks to cut expenses, absorb acquisitions, and take advantage of customers shifting to online banking. Overall, the number of US bank branches has declined by nearly 1,350, or about 1 percent, over the last two fiscal years, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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People’s United Bank of Bridgeport, Conn., says it plans to eliminate 15 of its 372 branches this year, including three in Massachusetts over the next month: one in Salem (6 Paradise Road) and two in Andover (18-20 Central St. and 342 North Main St.). People’s United, with $28 billion in assets, operates in six states, including Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

The bank said the closings are part of the company’s broader plans to consolidate operations after a series of acquisitions. In Massachusetts alone, People’s United bought Butler Bank of Lowell, the parent of RiverBank of North Andover, and Danversbank in Danvers over the past two years, leaving it with some overlapping branches. Spokeswoman Valerie Carlson said customers of those branches will have access to other offices within two miles.

In addition, the bank has opened branches in other areas, including four in Boston since late 2010. People’s has nearly 60 branches in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Bank of America, the largest bank in the state, confirmed it plans to close two of its 270 Massachusetts branches on June 1, one in Montague’s Turners Falls village and another on Rockdale Avenue in New Bedford.

Nationally, Bank of America has pledged to close 750 of its 5,700 branches in coming years but has not said how many will it will close in Massachusetts.

Overall, the number of US bank branches has declined by nearly 1,350, or about 1 percent, over the last two fiscal years.

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“We constantly evaluate our retail networks to make sure we are meeting evolving customer demand,’’ said spokeswoman Nicole Nastacie.

Todd Wallack can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @twallack.
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