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Capital One (COF) to Shutter 37 Branches Across the U.S.

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With increased focus on digitization, Capital One COF is planning to shut down around 37 branches nationwide. The company has filed applications for the same with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Capital One spokesman Derek Conrad in a statement said, “Our customers are increasingly engaging with us digitally. We continue to see steady growth in mobile banking, online banking, enhanced ATMs, remote deposit capture, etc., however, we know that many customers still value some physical presence to provide assurance, advice, and the ability to facilitate and support some transactions. We do too. Our goal is to deliver a compelling and optimal customer experience across all channels, not just one.”

Further, Conrad added that Capital One is diligently working to make sure all its clients have access to online banking.

The move is in sync with the current trend in the banking industry. Banks are increasingly focusing on enhancing digital experience of customers and improving operating efficiency. Nearly all the banks, big or small, including Bank of America BAC, JPMorgan JPM, Zions Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares HBAN are investing heavily in technology upgrades.

Notably, Capital One is focusing on expanding its digital business and this, in turn, has boosted top and bottom lines. The company’s revenues recorded a five-year (2015-2019) CAGR of 6.4%. Likewise, net income witnessed a CAGR of 8.2% over the same time period.

Also, the bank is undertaking efforts to expand its credit card business. Last October, the company entered into a partnership with Walmart and also became the exclusive issuer of its co-branded and private-label credit card programs.

Amid low interest rate environment, Capital One’s efforts to strengthen profitability are commendable. However, deteriorating asset quality is a major near-term concern and might hurt its financials.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 5.8% over the past year, outperforming the industry’s rise of 1.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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