BEIJING -- Beijing's banking regulator approved requests from 19 community-based bank branches to close their businesses from Jan. 1 to Feb. 11, according to its website.
In 2017, the regulator approved similar requests from 79 branches from 11 banks under pressure from booming online financial services.
The small branches usually have two or three employees, automatic teller machines, and other machines enabling non-cash services, such as transactions of financial products and payment for water and electricity. However, all the services are accessible online.
A resident of Beijing's Xicheng District surnamed Wang, said that about half of the bank branches in her community had disappeared. "That's fine. Online services serve me well. I only go into a bank at most three times a year," said Wang.
The development of internet-based finance has pushed banks to change. Managers of several banks said they hope to attract customers with better and tailored offline services.