NORTH BLOOMFIELD - Residents of this northern Trumbull County community don't plan to accept quietly a local bank's decision to close their branch, a trustee says.
"When the letter came out, my phone rang the entire morning. We're obviously very opposed to closing the bank," Roger Peterson Jr. said about Cortland Bank's letter dated Feb. 3 that said it plans to close the branch at 8837 state Route 45.
Peterson said most of the callers said they would leave Cortland Banks if it closed the branch. He said he advised them to contact the bank to express their opposition but to wait to see if something could be done to reverse the decision. He said he's seeking a meeting with bank officials.
Cortland Banks is looking to close the branch in May, company Chief Lending Officer and Business Development Officer Stan Feret said Tuesday.
He said the bank has made some indications that it can avoid laying off the four workers through relocations or attrition.
The Bloomfield site, which Cortland Banks acquired in August 1995, is limited to one drive-through lane, and the market is moving toward multiple lanes, such as two at the Bristolville branch five miles away, Feret said.
The bank, in its letter, also cited branch deposit and lending statistics and growth potential expectations in its decision.
Feret said the nearest rival bank is more than six miles away, adding Cortland Banks is expecting little customer impact with the Bristol site, along with online and mobile banking technology.
He said the company focuses on local commitments to the community, adding the Bloomfield closing is "part of our strategic plan to reallocate resources so we we can continue to grow."
Peterson noted the community has had a bank since 1903, adding the current building was erected in 1965.
"It's a staple of the community," he said. "Losing our only local bank would be a major loss to our already depressed community."