MILLINOCKET, Maine — Citing customers’ increasing preference for electronic rather than personal transactions, KeyBank will close its branch on Central Street on May 6, a company spokeswoman said Monday.
The Cleveland-based bank will consolidate its sole Katahdin branch office with its office on West Broadway in Lincoln, said Therese Myers, KeyBank’s vice president of corporate communications. Myers said that three people work at the Millinocket branch, and that they will get “first consideration” for any other jobs open in the bank chain.
The closure, Myers said, has nothing to do with the economic downturn the Katahdin region has suffered since 2008, when the first of its two paper mills closed. Since then, the region has suffered unemployment that typically runs at least twice the state average, which as of December 2015 was 4.0 percent, according to maine.gov. Some estimates place Millinocket’s unemployment at 15.7 percent.
“We have found that lately there is a growing customer preference for digital banking. Transactions via online and mobile banking are about twice as frequent” as branch or ATM transactions, Myers said.
“We are trying to get the right mix,” Myers added. “It is not that we have lost customers. It is that they are doing more business electronically.”
The shutdown will leave Millinocket with a Bangor Savings Bank branch at 96 Central St. and a Katahdin Federal Credit Union at 1000 Central St., according to a Web search done Monday.
Customers remaining in the Katahdin region can still do most of their regular banking electronically, Myers said. As an example, she cited KeyBank’s smartphone application, which allows for checks to be photographed and placed into the application for deposit electronically.
Myers declined to say how many customers the Millinocket KeyBank branch served.
According to its website, KeyBank had assets of approximately $93.8 billion in December 2014, with 13,590 employees nationally, a network of 994 full-service branches and 1,287 ATMs.
Besides Lincoln, KeyBank has two branch offices in Bangor and offices in Newport and Brewer in Penobscot County, Myers said.