Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Georgetown Bank of America customers will have to bank online or drive to Pawleys Island when the city’s branch closes later this year.
The sinkholes that occurred in Georgetown in 2011 are partly to blame for the decision to leave the city. Since the sinkholes, the Highmarket Street bank has been operating from a mobile unit on its property.
Bank spokeswoman Nicole Nastacie said the “physical challenges” the bank has faced are among the reasons the Georgetown branch will close June 14.
“We are not able to provide the kind of customer experience our customers deserve out of our mobile unit. The banking center team at Pawleys Island is ready to assist our Georgetown customers, or they may use our other channels such as ATM, mobile and online banking,” Nastacie said.
When asked why the bank could not move back into its building since there have been no new sinkholes for nearly a year-and-a-half, Nastacie said it is still unsafe.
“The building sustained structural damage from the sinkhole, making it unsafe for occupancy, which is why we have been operating out of a temporary unit,” she said.
Nastacie said the ATM on the bank’s property will remain in place until another nearby location can be found.
Nastacie said the facility problem is not the only reason the bank has decided to leave Georgetown.
She said people’s banking habits were also a factor in the decision. She said “changing needs and behaviors of our customers in the area” were considered by bank officials.
“Customers continue to do more of their routine banking transactions outside the banking center,” she said.
That, she said, is why BOA officials decided not to look for a new location within Georgetown.
“Our goal is to provide the right network for our customers to do their banking, including banking centers and ATMs, online, mobile and telephone banking. We constantly adapt our banking center and ATM networks to fit customers changing needs, and provide the best opportunities for growth for our business.”
Nastacie would not say how many employees will be impacted by the closing of the bank.
“We don’t disclose the number of employees at our banking centers. When a banking center closes, we provide various forms of assistance to impacted employees, including helping them find other opportunities within the company,” she said.
By Scott Harper
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