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Bank of America branch to close in Sandy

Decline in transactions has led to decision to close branch March 22


The Bank of America branch in Sandy will close its doors permanently Friday, March 22.

The building at 17500 Strauss Ave., which is owned by the bank, has been for sale on the market for a while but is not sold yet.

Sandy Vice President and Banking Center Manager Ashley Swanson was not allowed to talk with The Post about the closing. Instead, a media relations manager from a corporate headquarters office was assigned that task.

Britney Sheehan, speaking for the bank from her Seattle office, said the decision to close the branch was because of a decline in transactions at the banking center.

That scenario is trending nationally, and Bank of America is closing about 750 of its more than 5,500 branches across the nation.

“In order to stay competitive,” Sheehan said, “the company must base its retail presence on market opportunities. We’re seeing a decline in foot traffic, and looking at the market opportunities, we had to make the difficult decision to close the banking center.”

Are banking centers outdated?

The preference for many bank clients, Sheehan said, is to do online and mobile banking and to use smart phones to make deposits.

“I don’t want to give the impression that banking centers are becoming a thing of the past,” Sheehan said. “Banking centers continue to be an important place where we build and strengthen relationships with customers.”

The nearest branch of Bank of America that is not closing is nearly 11 miles west, in Gresham. However, a full-service ATM will remain in Sandy, about 1.5 miles west of the banking center. The ATM is near the stores in the Fred Meyer shopping center at 16605 362nd Drive.

A full-service ATM allows almost all of the services available from a teller at a regular banking center.

Bank of America employees whose employment in Sandy ends in a couple of weeks have been given several options, with assistance from the company.

Competition

If other banks are like Clackamas County Bank, a little competition will occur to attempt to get some Bank of America clients to move to another bank that maintains a banking center with nearby branches for convenience.

The fact is that not all local residents are connected to the Internet and carry smart phones. Some people prefer the more personal touch, with friendly tellers, safe deposit boxes and loan officers they can talk with.

Since Clackamas County Bank (CCB) officers heard that Bank of America was pulling up stakes, they have been making a pitch to capture some of those who prefer the personal touch and welcome them as new clients of the bank that has been in Sandy for 102 years.

CCB Executive Vice President Julie Snell said she has been sending letters to various B of A clients with an invitation to check out banking services at CCB.

Besides that, the letter mentions that CCB is very connected to the community, sponsoring the Mountain Festival Parade and the Fourth of July fireworks as well as many other activities.

“We thought some (B of A) customers might be inconvenienced to drive into Gresham,” Snell said, “so we are inviting them to come take a look at our fifth-generation family-operated bank.”

Snell said CCB’s action was begun because some of B of A’s clients contacted CCB and asked about the local bank’s services.

CCB has branches in Sandy, Boring, Gresham and Welches.

For more information about Bank of America, call 503-668-3221.

For more information about Clackamas County Bank, call 503-668-5501.