A well-worn and frayed couch sits alone in an overgrown lot, a few feet away from a fallen chain-link fence. In the background, is a large and vacant house. In a nearby neighborhood, a homeless population builds a community in front of a Bank of America building. These scenes have become all too common in Southern California, serving as both a threat and a warning about the consequences of neglect, gentrification and disinvestment.

The following photo essay, a collaboration between Rise Economy and Los Angeles-based film photographer Lexis-OlivierRay shot on Arthouse Film Lab motion picture film, documents the lingering and pernicious effects of bank branch closures, divestment from banks in historically redlined and low-income neighborhoods, and gentrification.

The photos illustrate the true impact of the numbers. More than 300 banks closed their branches across Los Angeles during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research from Rise Economy. Between March 2020 and February 2024 alone, JP Morgan Chase closed more than 50 full-service brick-and-mortar branches. Wells Fargo closed 28 branches, Bank of America closed 30, and US Bank closed at least 22 in the greater and neighboring Los Angeles area in that same time period.

Fourteen percent of branch closures were in low-to-moderate-income communities, and sixty percent were in communities of color.

Scroll through the map below to see the impact of bank mergers and branch closures in these neighborhoods.