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|Tombstone's lone bank cashes out|
|Written by Kevin Nadakal|
|Tuesday, 17 April 2012 03:23|
The convenience of walking down Allen Street to the Bank of America to deposit money and get change will soon be gone.
Bank of America officials decided to close down the branch located on Allen Street on July 13 at 2 p.m. Officials are still deciding where to transfer their current employees.
The reasons that Bank of America officials pointed to focused on the issue of customer demand.
“We constantly evaluate our retail network to ensure we are meeting evolving customer demand, and may add or consolidate banking centers as a result,” Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America media relations officer, said in an email.
“While retail banking centers continue to be a cornerstone of how we do business, we will also continue to evaluate our banking center network nationwide, as customers use self-service channels to complete most of their routine banking transactions.”
That explanation from the nation’s second largest bank is not making townsfolk happy.
The branch closing will have a major ripple effect on the town and some citizens have put together a petition trying to keep the branch open. The petition will have little to no effect thought because the bank is a private business.
The closing will force business owners to adjust how they run their businesses. Several storeowners frequent the bank on a daily basis to get change or make deposits.
“It would devastate us,” said Derrick Cloughley, owner of the Desert Eagle Trading Post. “It would make everything that is now simple, pretty much a pain in the butt.
“We constantly go there, multiple times a day. We need to get change, make deposits, make withdrawals.”
Derrick Cloughley’s father, Hal Cloughley, owns the Cochise Traders and anticipates that he would need to go to Sierra Vista in advance to get change.
Richard Wilson, owner of Smoke Signals, has nine different accounts with Bank of America, varying from personal to business.
“They’re closing all their branches that don’t have full service, this one can’t possibly do that,” Wilson said. “There are 750 of them (branches) closing, they’re not just picking on us. We have no need here for a full service bank with a trust department, a home loan department and all those other things.”
The inability to make daily deposits will leave storeowners more vulnerable to robbery or break in. Derrick Cloughley says that the store does have a vault but the need to hold more money does worry him.
Not all storeowners are worried about their banking needs. John Fields, owner of Johnny One Dog's Tombstone Sarsaparilla, has other people in mind with the closing of the bank.
“A lot of the locals are retired people around here,” Fields said. “A lot of people that get their retirement checks wired in, so it’s going to affect them.”
Tombstone residents will now depend on the Tombstone Federal Credit Union, located on 218 S. Sumner St. Susan Jones, manager of the credit union, says that they will make any necessary adjustments in order to fill everyone’s needs.
“Yes, we will definitely be able to handle it,” Jones said.
1. National Bank of AZ 25 S. Highway 92 Sierra Vista, Ariz.—15.6 miles
2. Chase 3932 E. Fry Blvd. Sierra Vista Ariz. --- 15.7 miles
3. Wells Fargo 50 E. Fry Blvd. Sierra Vista, Ariz.—17.5miles