A report earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that 10% of all of New Jersey's bank branches have closed in the last three years.

The term "bank desert" -- a take-off on the term food desert-- used to distinguish towns without supermarkets, is now being used for bank-free communities. They define a bank desert as a place with no bank branches within two miles in an urban area, five miles in a suburban area, and 10 miles in a rural area.

Egg Harbor City had a Wells Fargo and OceanFirst branch within a five-mile radius less than a decade ago. But both branches closed in 2020, creating what qualifies as a banking desert for a community of 4,246, according to the report.

A Ventnor local told me recently that the city of Ventnor, NJ had five operating bank branches in 1993. Today, there are no bank branches in the city of Ventnor.

The latest towns soon to lose a bank branch include Cape May, where the PNC Bank branch at 930 Washington Street has been listed for closing in 2024 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

A branch of Wells Fargo Bank at 50 East State Street in Trenton and three branches of Citizens Bank, U.S. Hwy 202N, Three Bridges; Bloomfield Ave, Verona; and RT 130 N, Burlington, are also slated for closing in 2024.

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