Local Bank of America customers recently received letters from the financial institution’s corporate office informing them the branch office at 204 Cherry St. in Jesup will close Jan. 25, 2013.
The letter states the Jesup branch will close permanently; however, banking services will continue at the Hinesville/Fort Stewart branch at 102 Gen. Screven Way. Former Jesup branch customers are encouraged to take their banking needs to Hinesville after January.
A Sept. 20 article in the LA Times by Tiffany Hsu said Bank of America planned to cut 16,000 jobs and close 200 branch banks across the country by the end of this year. The article said Bank of America, which closed 178 branch offices last year, no longer will be the largest U.S. bank.
According to Bank of America media-relations representative Diane Wagner, the Jesup branch closing has nothing to do with the current state of the nation’s economy or Bank of America’s efforts to cut costs.
“Typically, about 90 days prior to a bank center closing, we send out a letter to affected customers,” she said. “This is something we do periodically as we continually evaluate what the network looks like. After evaluating our distribution centers, we decided to close this bank.”
Wagner said it wasn’t Bank of America’s policy to disclose the number of employees affected by a branch closing, but she insisted that affected employees would receive job-placement assistance from the corporate office.
Most employees at the Jesup branch will have the option to transfer to other branch offices in the area, Wagner said. She added that local Bank of America customers will not see a decrease in services available to them, expressing confidence the Hinesville branch will be able to handle the additional customers who normally would conduct business at the Jesup branch.
“We’re finding that people use different ways to make banking transactions these days,” she said. “Customers can do the same transactions online they can do at the bank and in a matter of seconds. They can also make transactions through their (smart) phones or by their home phone.”
She admitted a lot of people still prefer face-to-face banking, and those customers still will be able to receive assistance from a teller at the Hinesville branch after the Jesup branch closes in late January.
At this time, Wagner said, the Jesup branch of Bank of America is the only branch bank closing in Coastal Georgia. She said Jesup branch customers with questions about banking services should ask their Jesup bank representative, go to bankofamerica.com or call 1-800-432-1000.