Bank Concentration by County

Date: 8 Mar 2010 | posted in: Banking | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Noting that “despite the power of big banks, small institutions still dominate huge swaths of the country and hold nearly half of bank deposits overall,” the New York Times, using data supplied by Institutional Risk Analytics, published this revealing map, which shows the share of deposits in each county held by banks over and under $65 billion in assets.

That’s a very generous size threshold for describing a bank as “small.” The New Rules Project generally defines community banks as those under $1 billion in assets. Dennis Santiago, CEO of Institutional Risk Analytics, explained that they chose $65 billion, because the vast majority of banks below that size are engaged in “pure” commercial banking activities, whereas those larger than that generally have become more complex institutions with investment banking and insurance components.

Nevertheless, the map provides a striking illustration of the degree to which large banks dominate urban areas, and how the Midwest, with its small towns and history of strong interstate bank branching regulations, remains heavily populated by small and mid-sized banks.

See the full-size map.


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Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.