PORT TOWNSEND — Union Bank has announced that it is closing its three North Olympic Peninsula branches as part of a move to shut 20 locations in the state.
The bank will close its Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim and Poulsbo branches Feb. 20, followed on Feb. 27 by closures of branches in Bremerton, Silverdale and Gig Harbor, according to Union Bank spokesman Alan Gulick.
The Bainbridge Island branch will remain open, he said.
“Before deciding to close a branch, we carefully consider market and economic factors and the changing preferences of customers,” Gulick said in an email Monday.
“In order to remain competitive in a tough environment, we made the difficult decision to close our branches on the Peninsula.”
The bank currently operates 43 branches in the state.
A total of 13 employees in the three North Olympic Peninsula branches are affected, Gulick said.
“No one is out of a job today,” he said.
“Whenever possible, our goal is to retain our talented employees and accumulated expertise.
“If no position is offered, employees will be eligible to participate in the bank’s separation pay program, which includes career transition assistance through a national provider.”
Customers do not need to take any action at this time and can continue to use their existing checks, deposit slips and payment coupons, Gulick said.
Once the branches close, the bank’s local customers can continue their accounts online, as the bank “will continue to offer a full range of financial services to all of our individual, commercial and business clients throughout the Pacific Northwest,” according to Gulick, although the bank will not have any local ATMs.
The bank will continue to offer online and mobile banking options that allow customers to bank with Union Bank remotely so they can manage their accounts and conduct transactions from personal computers or mobile devices, he said.
“While we will miss seeing our customers at these closing branches, we want to thank them for their loyalty, and we truly hope they will remain a customer of Union Bank for years to come,” Gulick said.
Gulick declined to disclose how many customers regularly used the to-be-closed branches.
Union Bank is descended from the Bank of California, formed in 1864 in San Francisco, but is now under the auspices of MUFG Union Bank, a multinational institution with headquarters in New York City.
MUFG Union Bank currently has 398 branches in California, Washington and Oregon and is wholly owned by Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank of Japan. No closures are currently slated for Oregon or California.
Union Bank assumed the assets of the failed Frontier Bank in 2010.
The acquisition of Frontier Bank provided the company’s first foothold in the Pacific Northwest.
While closing branches in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Pierce counties, the bank is not abandoning the region, Gulic said.
“The acquisition of Frontier Bank provided an important entrance into a new market that we remain fully committed to today,” he said.
“We will continue to invest in the region with new approaches to better meet the changing needs of our customers, and we have exciting plans to open new offices in both Washington and Oregon over the next two to three years.”
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or [email protected]