Even as some regional banks shutter and consolidate suburban branches to reduce costs, these same institutions are renewing efforts to beef up a retail and community banking presence on the island of Manhattan.

One example is National Westminster Bancorp. In the midst of moving 1,300 back-office positions from its Jersey City headquarters to a new service center in Pennsylvania, the $26 billion-asset subsidiary of National Westminster Bank PLC is spending some $30 million to renovate branches in New York City. The idea is to boost its small business and personal banking market share in the Big Apple.

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