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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bank of America customers will see fewer ATMs now that the bank has removed the machines from gas stations owned by Valero Energy Corp. The reduction of its automated teller network is part of the bank's efforts to reach $8 billion in expense cuts.
According to Bloomberg, Bank of America's total number of ATMs fell by 1,536 in the first half of this year, leaving it with 16,220 as of June 30. In addition to not renewing space at Valero locations, the financial institution also decided to not renew its lease deals at Simon Property Group Inc. sites. Simon Property is one of the largest shopping mall owners in the United States.
"When they put an ATM in a mall or gas station, they have to rent that space in the same way that Sunglass Hut has to pay for their space," said Bart Narter, a senior banking analyst at consulting firm Celent. "They did the math and probably concluded that these guys aren't profitable."
San Antonio-based Valero, one of the biggest U.S. refiners, manages about 1,000 U.S. retail locations, mostly in Texas and in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California and Wyoming. Another 5,000 independently run sites that include other states weren't covered by the Bank of America deal, according to Bill Day, a Valero spokesman. "Each side has an option to renew and Bank of America chose not to renew," Day told Bloomberg. "The ones that belonged to Bank of America have been removed and in most stores, they've been replaced by other ATMs."
Bank of America chose to pull most of its ATMs from malls and gas stations, in part, because those devices only dispensed cash and weren't available 24 hours a day, Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for the bank, said in media reports. Customers want to be able to deposit checks at an ATM, she added.
"It's about convenience and access, that's what the customers are looking for," Pace said. "People aren't banking 9 to 5, they are banking when it's convenient for them."
Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan is shrinking the bank's footprint to focus on his most profitable clients after regulations squeezed fees and he dropped a controversial plan to charge debit card users $5 a month, the news outlet reported. In addition to pulling ATMs, Moynihan closed108 branches this year and plans to cut at least 30,000 jobs.