The total number of U.S. bank branches continues to decline despite the lack of recent headlines on the subject. The days when a major bank would close 50 branches in a state on the same day might be over, but branches are closing more quietly at a rate of about 3 per business day, or almost 1 percent per year. Banks are cutting costs and hope they are saving time for their customers by moving more transactions online.
Standard & Poors classified Brazil debt as junk amid concerns that the state-owned oil company could fail. Brazil is leaning on state-run banks these days as privately owned banks, facing financial pressure, have become more reluctant to lend.