WILMINGTON — The Wilmington West office of Peoples Bank on Wayne Road will close March 31.
The market and demographics are not large enough to support three branches of the same bank within 2½ miles of one another, said Peoples Bank Executive Vice President and Regional President Edward B. Reilly.
The volume of transactions and deposits at the west-side branch are “well below what would normally be expected to support a free-standing branch,” Reilly said. Moreover, the branch is seeing a downward trend, he added.
There also is an industry-wide circumstance in banking with the advent of alternate “delivery channels,” said Reilly, including online or mobile banking, electronically transferring funds and depositing checks.
“Some of the dynamics of the industry are changing around us. Couple that with having three branches in the city and the market simply isn’t large enough [for three branches],” the bank executive said.
All current employees at Wilmington West will continue to have positions and roles with Peoples Bank, said Reilly.
The bank had slowed down some hiring in anticipation of offering Wilmington West employees similar roles at other sites, he said.
Bank officials currently have no plans for the Wilmington West site. There has been “some interest expressed” in the property, said Reilly.
Keeping an ATM at the site is not a viable option, he said, adding they may try to utilize that ATM elsewhere.
Reilly said he wants to emphasize that Peoples Bank will continue to have two branches in Wilmington — the Main Office on North South Street in the downtown and the Plaza Office on Rombach Avenue on the east side of town.
Peoples Bank will be the only bank with more than one branch in Wilmington, he said.
Peoples Bank will continue to be a very generous corporate citizen when it comes to community-oriented projects or local causes, said Reilly.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.