With all the talk about banks closing branches, the results of a recent study are rather surprising. All the big banks contacted by Ernst & Young said they plan to open offices during the next two years, while 84% said they also plan to close some branches. A closer look at the numbers sheds some light: Banks are in the midst of redesigning and relocating their brick-and-mortar offices in a way that complements the growing popularity of call centers, automated teller machines, and PC banking (see chart). Still, it's also clear that banks are not giving up on traditional branches. Nearly four-fifths of large banks plan to remodel branches in the next two years, and more than half said they would continue to open full- service offices.

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