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Shelter in place: Is the coronavirus a turning point for challenger banks?

As consumers shelter at home, regional banks have seen their account openings dramatically drop. In the week ending March 27, banks with the largest concentration in cities had acquisition declines of 60 percent, while other traditional banks’ declines were 25 percent, according to Novantas’ data analysis. For the third week in a row, checking account acquisition remains generally flat since then, the firm’s most recent data shows.

“We have seen digital account opening increasing at a lot of the banks, not all of them,” says Brandon Larson, who heads the digital-first banking division at Novantas. “But not anywhere near enough to counteract the lack of branch account opening at a lot of locations.”

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