Bank of America to close Smithfield branch

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Bank of America’s downtown Smithfield branch will shutter permanently this November.

The branch is already closed to walk-in traffic, and has been since the middle of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Matthew Card, a Bank of America spokesman, the decision to make the closure permanent was based on two factors: a growing public preference for online banking and the company’s desire to reduce redundancy.

There are four other Bank of America centers located within a roughly 12-mile radius of its Smithfield location, Card said. The Smithfield branch had been seeing fewer walk-ins than other branches even prior to the pandemic.

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According to Card, 85% of deposits are now made through mobile, online or other automated channels. About 68% of consumer mortgage applications and 74% of direct auto applications are also now made digitally.

“The pandemic sped up these shifts in client behavior across the industry,” Card said.

“We constantly adapt our financial center and ATM networks to fit our clients’ changing needs,” he added. “That includes consolidating centers where we have overlap and investing in new centers.”

Employees of the Smithfield branch have been working at nearby centers, he said. Smithfield branch customers will have roughly 90 days to make arrangements to gain access to the building and remove any safe deposit box contents.

Card was uncertain what, if any, plans the company has for the physical brick building on Main Street once the branch is officially closed. According to online Isle of Wight County tax records, the building has been a bank, in one form or another, since the 1970s and is currently valued at just under $1 million.