Too many damn banks

West Roxbury bankitis, in which the number of bank branches rises higher than the number of pizza places, is spreading. John Ford reports the building housing the Purple Shamrock near Faneuil Hall has been sold and that the new landlord's plans call for the bar to be replaced with a bank. And Ford says he's had enough and has just bought the domain name notanotherbank.com:

I'm mad. To give you another example: A large national bank wants to move into my neighborhood on Charles Street on Beacon Hill. As a result, a small food store business in operation for over 20 years may go out of business. I'm very connected to this neighborhood and I can tell you nobody wants this bank to occupy one of the best corners on Charles Street. But all indications are that this national bank has the political strength to make it happen, and so it more than likely will.

As stated – another large banks wants to take over The Purple Shamrock Pub, which is in one of Boston's best tourist locations. I say hell no.

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Why do we still need branch banks at all?

Everything can be done online and through ATMs, really. And for the rare things that can't, people can go downtown or to a mall or whatever. They don't need a branch on every damned corner.

Even the historical benefits of being a regular customer at a neighborhood bank are no longer applicable; things like credit decisions are made using formulas by someone at a corporate office, so it doesn't matter if the manager of the local bank can say that she's known the applicant for 15 years and he makes his deposits very politely and has a well-manicured lawn.

Oh, and for elders and people with disabilities who don't use computers or deal well with things over the phone, they've already been screwed over by all the other stuff that's no longer possible to do in person, so they usually have someone identified who can help them or they've sucked it up and learned how to use the computer. But really, all these banks aren't popping up JUST to serve those few people who don't use the internet or a touch-tone phone. So what's the deal?

WAY too many banks

There are already too many banks on Charles Street (and everywhere else). I have yet to see a customer in the new Hingham (?) Bank on Charles, the one that replaced a nice, long-established antique store. I see the lonesome teller in there, staring wistfully out the big plate-glass window, wondering why the heck she and her stupid branch aren't back in Hingham.

That market on Charles is a mainstay and needs to stay. It's open all night, the owner works hard to stock what customers want, and the staff is always pleasant. If they put a bank there, it had better stay open all night and sell sandwiches and coffee and groceries and lottery tickets...

Classic example of neighborhood self-destruction

Nothing new about this. Bank managers are typically attracted to successful districts and have lots of money to burn on real estate. So, a bunch of them end up trying to open up a branch in the same general area, thus displacing the very vitality they were trying to capture. It's frustrating to see them make the same mistake over and over again.

I hate to say it

But he's right. Boston is soon to become 'over banked'. We DO have far too many banks as it is, soon the banks will out number Dunkin Donuts locations!

Capital One Bank is a scam anyways. They are only opening branches so they can scam more money out of the Gov't. The only reason why Capital One has any banks at all is because they wanted TARP money a few years ago and opened up branches because TARP money was only available to banks with locations, not credit card companies. Since Capital One is/was a sketchy lender that had mountains of debt due to the credit crunch, they begged for TARP money (and got it).

(See Ally Bank, formerly known as GMAC Financing... Yes the car loan people, for another example)

Its a waste to open all these locations. In a few years a larger bank will buy up operations of these locations, and they'll end up closing half of these branches due to closeness in proximity to each other (like the way Sovereign and BankBoston branches were closed) and will be turned back into something else.

Waste but banks will open branches that lose money just to get the tax write off later on when the branch closes for non business.

What's the solution?

I'm truly sorry to see the Purple Sham leaving, but that's capitalism. The new landlord thinks it can make more money with a bank in that space, than a bar. The bank thinks it can make enough money to cover that higher rent. One business closes, another opens. The circle of life.

Zoning

I'm not sure, but I also thought I read this storefront would need a variance for a bank to go in. If that's the case, the city council should tell the owner and the the bank to take a hike.

variances should be granted to vacant, not in use properties if someone, anyone wants to put a business in and help revive a hole in the wall. But to grant one to kick someone else out thats already making due and a centerpiece of the community, well, no.

This city already has a lack of neighboorhood markets and supermarkets. Let's not make it worse.

It's Faneuil Hall, guys

The only people who should be setting foot in the area are tourists and dumbass 20-somethings from the suburbs who are basically tourists in their own city because they don't know where else to go out.

I do sympathize with Beacon Hill or Coolidge Corner residents losing local businesses to banks, but there are plenty of fake-ass Irish pubs in Fanueil Hall to make up for the loss of the Shamrock.

too many damn banks

Update: My sources are telling me that the owners of the Purple Shamrock are in serious negotiations with Sky Red a bar around the corner from the Purple Shamrock. My sources also told me that they offered Sky Red $500,000 to assign the remainder of the lease, but Sky North wants $800,000.

Too many dam banks

Yes Adam. I apologize to your readers I called the establishment that the Purple Shamrock is in negotiations with several incorrect names. The correct name, as you noted is Red Sky.

I'll keep you updated.

BTW - I need a second source to confirm, but what are you or your readers hearing about storefront changes in Havard Sq?