BMO Harris Bank closing nine Chicago-area branches

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BMO Harris Bank is closing nine of its 182 Chicago-area branches in early December, reducing the bank’s footprint by 5% in its largest U.S. market.

Two Chicago branches are set to close in the Logan Square and Wicker Park neighborhoods, along with suburban branches in South Holland, Aurora, Flossmoor, Summit, Naperville, Barrington and Elmhurst, the bank said Monday.

“Our customers are changing how they want to conduct their banking with us, and we continually assess the performance of all of our operations, including our branches, to ensure we are best positioned to meet our customers’ evolving needs,” BMO spokesman Patrick O’Herlihy said in an emailed statement.

The bank also plans to close six locations outside of Illinois in early December. BMO Harris has more than 500 branches in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida and Wisconsin.

The number of bank locations in the U.S. peaked at 99,550 during 2009 — the end of the Great Recession — and have declined annually since, as digital banking gains traction. Last year, banks permanently closed a record 3,324 branches nationwide and opened 1,040, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Closings continue apace this year, with just over 82,000 active bank branches remaining in the U.S. as May 31, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Bank of Montreal, now known as BMO Financial Group, acquired Chicago-based Harris Bank in 1984. Chicago is the largest U.S. market for the Canadian banking giant, with more than a third of its U.S. branches in Chicago and the suburbs.

The Chicago-area BMO branches set to close are at: 2865 N. Milwaukee Ave. and 1242 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago; 44 W. 162nd St. in South Holland; 2505 N. Farnsworth Ave. in Aurora; 2602 Flossmoor Road in Flossmoor; 7549 W. 63rd St. in Summit; 507 S. Washington St. in Naperville; 150 Washington St. in Barrington; and 115 W. Third St. in Elmhurst.

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