Swanton customers are losing a local branch of a national bank chain to the convenience of online services.
The PNC Bank located at 110 W. Airport Hwy. will close permanently on Friday, April 20, at 3 p.m., according to company spokesperson Diane Pappas. It will be consolidated with a branch located at 7015 Spring Meadows Drive in Holland, and all customer accounts will be transferred there.
Pappas said the branch closing is due to PNC customers’ preference for more convenient online services and automatic teller machines to conduct basic banking needs. “Customers are banking very differently today. Technology has exceeded the need for this particular branch,” she said.
Though she couldn’t speak to why the Swanton branch was selected to close, Pappas said a routine evaluation of PNC branches determined that the needs of Swanton customers could be met or exceeded at the Spring Meadows branch which is located about 9 1/2 miles away. Another branch is located in Whitehouse, just over six miles away.
PNC will work to try to reassign the Swanton employees, Pappas said, adding, “We definitely try to keep those employees we can.”
A letter of explanation was mailed to the branch’s customers Jan. 19. Pappas said the Swanton branch is not closing due to underperformance. She said she doesn’t know how many other PNC branches may have closed due to an increase in ATM and online service use, and can’t speak to how many more could follow.
She said PNC CEO William Demchak has pledged to keep a chain of the bank’s locations available to customers.
“We will always want to maintain a branch network,” Pappas said. “(Total online immersion) is not the future. No.”
She added, “We remain committed to the customers in this community. The bank will continue to assist them in receiving services support through the nearby branches. And we’ll continue to offer access through affordable banking options, customized financial solutions, free financial education. We do what we can for our community that we serve.”
Swanton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Neil Toeppe said the closing is “very disappointing. They’ve been here for a long, long time, and will be missed by the many depositors and customers. We will miss them in Swanton as a bank, and we will miss the employees who have been there for years as well.”
Toeppe added that the bank’s support of the community will also be missed.
PNC Financial Services Group is rated the seventh largest bank in the U.S. on SNL Financial’s list of the top 50 banks.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.