Citibank close nine of 31 branches in Massachusetts

Citibank, which aggressively entered the Boston market six years ago with dozens of new branches, plans to close nearly one-third of its local offices next year.

The New York-based bank will close nine of its 31 branches in Massachusetts on March 15, according spokesman Catherine Pulley.

The bank declined to identify which branches are closing since it has yet to notify customers, something it plans to do next month. But Pulley said the bank would maintain its offices in Boston and nearby communities and shutter locations farther from the city.

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“Citibank will maintain a significant branch network presence in the City of Boston, as our strategy is to serve clients with excellence throughout the world’s top cities,” Pulley said. “Like any business with a retail footprint, we are continually acting on opportunities to optimize our branch network, which includes opening, renovating, and in some instances closing or relocating branches. Boston remains a key US market for Citibank.”

Nationwide, banks have closed hundreds of branches in recent years to help become more efficient and absorb the cost of the weak economy, bad loans, growing regulation and ultra-low interest rates. In addition, many customers are increasingly banking online or through ATMs, allowing banks to reduce the number of branches.

Bank of America, the largest bank in Massachusetts, last year announced plans to close 750 of its branches across the country and has already closed a number of offices in Massachusetts.

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