The Boalsburg branch of the First National Bank is expected to close in August. Photo by Vincent Corso | The Gazette
The people of Boalsburg will no longer have a bank in town as the First National Bank plans to close the branch.
Located at 400 E. Boal Ave., the bank will merge with the Hills Plaza office, 1811 South Atherton St., on August 27, according to Jennifer M. Reel, senior vice president and director of corporate communications for First National. Bank.
“We are continually evaluating our branch network to make sure it is optimized and functioning efficiently. Based on our established assessment process, which examines factors such as convenience, consumer banking preferences, operating costs, proximity to other locations and more, we decided to consolidate our office of Boalsburg, ”Reel said in an email response.
The bank’s ATM will remain open for a period of time after it closes.
The upcoming shutdown drew criticism from Harris Township supervisors at Monday’s board meeting.
“I know there is nothing we can do about it, but it concerns me,” said Chairman of the Board Dennis Hameister. “It is an institution that has existed for many, many years. I think losing a bank causes a bit of a loss of stability in the canton.
Board member Frank Harden said he believed the move was part of a trend of downsizing physical banks as they move into online banking.
“The other thing to consider is that we can’t go to another bank in Harris Township,” Harden said. “We don’t have a bank. This is the last bank we have in Harris Township, so while I hate to see this happen, I think it’s kind of the writing on the wall.
The First National Bank is headquartered in Hermitage. In 2008, FNB acquired the local Omega Financial Corporation as part of a merger and the 64 Omega banks changed their name to First National, including the Boalsburg branch.
County-wide, FNB closed the Rebersburg branch in 2011, the Snow Shoe branch in 2016, and the Center Hall branch in March 2019.
“When they closed Rebersburg, they said to go to Center Hall. When they closed Center Hall, they said to come to Boalsburg. Now they’re shutting down Boalsburg and they’re still sending us lower. I’m just really uncomfortable with it, ”Hameister said.
Board member Nigel Wilson said he believed the bank would lose business because of the move.
“When they finally bought them back (Omega), they started chopping it up. In my opinion, it’s just rude to take a banking center out of a community for a few dollars more, ”Wilson said.
Supervisor Charles Graham said he was wondering if other businesses would move to the site after the closure.
“I have seen this happen several times. One branch is moving and another is moving in, so maybe we can encourage or encourage another branch to come here, ”Graham said.
The township plans to write a letter to the bank expressing concerns about the closure and may consider moving its accounts at FNB to another bank.
FNB said it would be a job to help clients as it moves forward with consolidation.
“Throughout the transition, we are committed to ensuring that the banking needs of our Boalsburg customers continue to be met without disruption,” said Reel. “In addition to our knowledgeable staff and extensive branch network, including the Hills Plaza office, we offer a full suite of online and mobile banking tools as well as smart ATMs and ATMs with TellerChat so that customers can access their accounts 24/7 – regardless of location.