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Huntington Plans to Shutter Branches in Giant Eagle Stores

Zacks Equity Research

Following an extensive review of branch footprint, Huntington Bancshares Incorporated HBAN is planning to close 30 branches located in Giant Eagle stores on Feb 15, per Columbus Business First. The employee count to be affected by the move remains undisclosed.

Northeast Ohio will be affected the most. Branches in Ashtabula, Warren, Youngstown, Canton, Fairlawn and Cleveland will also witness reduction in staff count. The first 10 locations to be hurt, including Central Ohio region in Columbus, are filed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Post completion of the bank’s consolidation, it is confident of retaining the top spot in terms of branch market share in Ohio. According to sources, the bank will operate in 65 Giant Eagle, 97 Meijer and 826 total branches once the consolidation process is completed.

Huntington reviews its distribution network on a regular basis in order to adjust and improve the mix of branches, ATMs, and online and mobile banking to meet its customers’ dynamic needs in the current era of digitization.

Prior to this, in October, the bank had slashed 150 to 200 jobs in order to trim costs and improve profitability, which was hampered by low interest rate environment.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have gained 14.7% on the NYSE over the past six months, outperforming 11.1% growth recorded by the industry it belongs to. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Apart from Huntington, there are many other financial firms that are closing branches to improve operations. Some of these are Fifth Third Bancorp FITB, Commerzbank AG CRZBY and NomuraHoldings NMR.

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