pncbank 062220SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are applauding PNC Financial Services’ decision to reverse plans to shutter its branch on Springfield’s East Side.

“I appreciate that PNC’s leadership team listened to our concerns and will continue serving the East Side. The damaging effects that branch closures have on families and businesses is well-documented and both a contributor to and a reflection of widening racial wealth inequality,” Manar said. “We can’t begin to address the immense economic disparities facing our state and country when banks are leaving underserved communities and predatory lenders are setting up shop.”

PNC Financial Services’ Pittsburgh-based government affairs office notified Manar by email last week that the branch at 802 S. 11th St. would close in September.

Manar immediately contacted PNC’s government affairs director to urge the bank’s leadership to rethink the decision, given the economic impact on customers and the community.

Manar then contacted Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, who also made calls to demand the branch remain open.

“Access to capital is critical for small business, and that’s especially true for Black-owned businesses that may have fewer options in their communities due to the closure of major bank branches,” Durbin said.  “Without lending partners, entrepreneurship is starved of oxygen and turns towards predatory lenders that charge exorbitant fees and trap people in an endless cycle of debt from which it is nearly impossible to emerge. I’m glad to hear that the bank will continue to serve the community and I thank Senator Manar for his leadership on this issue.”

The 11th Street branch is one of few remaining banks serving Springfield’s East Side. Numerous other financial institutions have shuttered their facilities, reflecting a national trend of banks abandoning majority-Black neighborhoods.

“I’m proud that we, along with Senator Durbin, called for the continuation of this essential service,” Duckworth said. “I’m pleased that PNC has decided to keep their location on Springfield’s East Side open and will continue serving constituents there.”

A 2019 study published in the American Economic Journal found that even when there are other banks located within a few miles, branch closures in low-income and minority neighborhoods result in drastic declines in credit supply and opportunity for nearby small businesses.

“Springfield's East Side PNC branch is a trusted and valuable economic cornerstone for the community and has assisted in the building of new residential and business properties, leading to a more vibrant community,” said Springfield Ward 3 Alderwoman Doris Turner. “It provides banking near residents, and its closure would have certainly led to a financial desert and an extremely negative impact upon this community.”

An analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that majority-Black communities with positive economic trends lost more of their branches than non-Black communities with negative trends.