Earlier this month, customers at Bank of the West in the Copper Basin and Tri-Community areas began receiving letters announcing the closure and consolidation of the San Manuel and Kearny-Hayden branches. Accounts, the letters read, at the San Manuel branch are being transferred and combined with the SaddleBrooke branch while the accounts at the Kearny-Hayden branch will go to Superior.
The branches will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Transfers of accounts will happen automatically. Customers with safe deposit boxes will receive separate information about transferring the contents of the boxes to the new locations.
The announcements sparked a small storm of comments on the Bank of the West’s Facebook page, many from Copper Basin residents.
“Everyone I talk to in Kearny AZ say there is no way they’ll let you take their accounts to Superior,” wrote Carol Hosler. “You won’t have their accounts anymore to take up there. If, as you say, we should be happy with online tools, we can be just as happy with some other institution’s tools.”
Georgianna Wood also spoke out against the closure. “I hope those who are responsible for that change will realize what a mistake it would be to carry out what would be a stupid and uncaring act against businesses and residents of Kearny, and others, and would also be the cause of Bank of the West losing some of its customers,” she wrote on the Facebook page.
One person said that the closures are becoming normal for banks. “Financial institutions will eventually change the way people do all their banking,” said Erica Contreras Seitter. “As a veteran of this industry for the last 15 years, there have been more changes in the last 5 years. It will be a transition, but so will changing banks. Pretty soon there will be automated tellers in their lobbies. It’s a shame about the Kearny Branch closing. It seems to be a trend among FI’s these days to ‘cut back’.”
In an email interview with the Green Valley News, Debra Jack, spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based chain, said the closures were the result of an extensive review of branch usage trends.
It’s unknown how many employees will be affected by the move. Branches in Green Valley and St. Johns will also be closed and consolidated with other branches. Bank of the West is currently evaluating its ATM network. It’s not known whether ATMs in San Manuel and Kearny will be maintained or closed.
The Superior branch is located at 351 Main St. The branch phone number is 520-689-2431. The lobby is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The SaddleBrooke branch is located at 63701 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite A. The branch phone number is 520-917-2700. The lobby is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For other branch locations, visit the Bank of the West website at www.bankofthewest.com.