Rockland Trust to close Rochester branch on Friday
By Georgia Sparling | Jan 05, 2016
ROCHESTER — The Rochester branch of Rockland Trust closes its doors for good on Friday afternoon.
And while the company will maintain an ATM at Plumb Corner Mall, in-house banking will require at least a 15-minute drive from Rochester center.
Rockland Trust announced its plans to close in the summer, which was a disappointment, said Selectman and Town Clerk Naida Parker.
“We were all caught off guard,” she said.
The Plumb Corner location has long been the town government’s bank. Previously Mayflower Bank, Rockland Trust bought out eight locations of the Plymouth County company in 2013.
At the time, Rockland Trust Senior Vice President Ralph Valente said, “I don’t anticipate having changes for any of the people serving the community of Rochester. It’s an important community to Mayflower, so it’s an important community to us.”
Parker said she and others at Town Hall thought the bank would stick around.
“Rockland invested a bunch of money in the building…that let us think this was going to work,” she said.
Ellen Molle, Rockland Trust’s marketing manager, said the Rochester branch had lower traffic than the West Wareham location, and that many customers visited both branches.
She said no one would lose their job.
“We’re keeping all the staff, and they’ve been reassigned in the branches of their choosing,” Molle said.
The bank is arranging a shuttle each Monday afternoon from the Rochester Senior Center to the West Wareham branch for customers.
While that does help out some residents, the closure will complicate Town Hall operations. Parker said at least two to three deposits are made a week, two to three a day during tax season. Electronic deposits will be made when possible, but traveling to the Fairhaven or Wareham branches to make cash deposits will be an added expense to the town, said Parker.
She said Town Administrator Mike McCue sought other banks to fill the space when the announcement was made in the summer, but so far no one is biting.
“Now we’re stuck with having to figure out what we’re going to do long term with our banking,” said Parker.
If a new bank does fill the storefront, the town may consider switching its accounts. It may also look into other local banks that are closer than the Rockland Trust branches.
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