It's always a strange thing to see a bank shut its doors.

I mean, they house your money, do loans for all sorts of things and don't really "sell" anything.

So why is it Wells Fargo has shut down two branches recently, and three overall?

There's the one that was on Georgia that shut down several years ago, and now the building isn't even standing. A dirt lot and an ATM across the street is all that's left of it. There's the branch on Bell St. that recently shut down. I found that out by going there literally days before they shut their doors. I need a few checks printed and they said they couldn't do that because they were closing in a couple days for good.

Then there's the branch downtown that shut down. Amarillo National Bank famously trolled the closing of that location on Facebook.

So is Wells Fargo just being run out of town by the likes of ANB and Happy State Bank? I don't know if that's entirely accurate.

A lot of banks shut down temporarily when COVID hit, just like everyone else. They were some of the first businesses to re-open however as obviously people needed to be able to do transactions. Wells Fargo was among the banks with hundreds of branches around the country that were very negatively affected by this.

As the country slowly began to re-open, so did the banks, but not all the branches. Some stayed closed as they didn't really show the normal foot traffic needed to warrant a re-opening just yet. This is where the downfall began.

Branches began closing permanently across the country as the bank decided to start consolidating the amount of locations they had open. When a branch in New Mexico was closed down, Wells Fargo New Mexico Communications Adviser Franchesca Pancham stated, "This is not an easy decision or one that we take lightly. We continually evaluate our branch network, and make adjustments based on changing customer needs, market factors and economic trends. This process leads to both expansions and consolidations. While the branch continues to be important in serving our customers' needs, we're finding that customers increasingly use digital tools for transactions such as bank deposits. As a result more transactions are happening outside the branch."

Ahhhh, there we have it. The amount of foot traffic in and out of banks because of the digital advancements is forcing the closure of some of these branches. Being able to do things like take pictures of checks you want to deposit with the mobile app and transferring of money from one account to another. Definitely convenient for us, but not for the people who work inside.

Another thing that has hurt Wells Fargo is the lack of employees. They, like many businesses, have struggled to find employees since the pandemic. The lack of people wanting to go back to work, or because some of those people were able to start their own business or work from home because of the pandemic has been a huge deterrent in staffing these buildings.

However, is it possible that ANB and Happy State Bank have such a stranglehold on the banking industry in Amarillo that Wells Fargo is being pushed out? There used to be FIVE different branches in the city. It's now down to just two, one on Washington and one on Coulter.

Will Wells Fargo survive in Amarillo? Or will they be forced out like 7-11 was? Stay tuned, things may not be over just yet.

Demolition of the Old Wells Fargo Bank

One of Amarillo's iconic buildings found in Wolflin Village was demolished in the first week of February 2022. The angular Mid-Century Modern style building was beloved for its unique design, eye-catching colors and prominent location. It will be missed.

Downtown Amarillo Over The Years

Downtown Amarillo has seen an incredible metamorphosis. Take a look at the photos below to see just how much it's changed--you won't believe the difference.

More From 98.7 The Bomb