The tiny Bank of America at the iconic Cooper and Young intersection is getting ready to make a withdrawal from the neighborhood.
In a letter sent to customers last week, Bank of America stated that the bank will be closing on Friday, February 20th. The bank says the planned closure is mainly due to a change in banking habits by the account holders in the area, as more and more customers do the majority of their banking online or through mobile apps.
"We look at our banking centers and ATM networks and see how people are using our banking services, and when that information is determined, sometimes it means that we close a banking center," Bank of America spokesperson Matthew Daily said.
Daily said that there are no plans to open another Bank of America in Cooper-Young or any area nearby, but that the ATM at that location will stay in place for about a year.
"In this particular case, we have an overlap with a branch a mile and half away [at Union Extended and Poplar], and we saw that the customer's needs in this area are changing. Generally, we saw a decline in transactions and an increase in people using online banking and mobile banking," Daily said.
While individual customers may have changed the way they bank, some locally owned businesses in Cooper-Young rely on that Bank of America location for their daily banking needs. Cooper-Young Business Association Director Tamara Walker said the association will push for another bank to open there after the Bank of America closes.
"We would definitely push for another bank rather than another business," Walker said. "Since 1989, there's been a bank there. Boatmen's [Bank] came in 1989, and they lent to a lot of the businesses that were opening during that time, which helped make the neighborhood what it is today."
Burkes Books co-owner Cheryl Mesler said that having a bank so close to her business was one of the reasons they chose their current location on Cooper.
"When we moved over here seven years ago, we switched everything over to Bank of America, honestly just for the convenience," Mesler said. "Not having to get in my car and drive to the bank was a huge help, especially because there are a lot of times when there's only two of us in the store. Going to the bank on Union Extended would turn into a 20-minute trip instead of a 10-minute one, so if a new bank comes in, I can't say that I wouldn't switch all of our accounts over to them."