Old Fort, Centre County, Pa- Penn’s Valley will be losing a branch bank.
WTAJ spoke with locals, who were not enthusiastic to hear First National Bank’s Centre Hall Branch is closing.
This is the third First National Bank branch to close in rural Centre County since 2011. Some are worried that fewer banks means more inconvenience.
“It’s been very convenient banking here… the people are lovely they’re very helpful and friendly, and I’ll miss this bank,“ said Geraldine Russell who lives three miles from the Centre Hall branch.
Russell is a longtime customer at the bank.
“I’ve been banking here for 45 years,“ she told WTAJ.
One of Russell’s key concerns in the era of online banking: being able to access her accounts in a rural area.
“Out here, we have very spotty electricity and WIFI, so a brick and mortar bank is very nice,“ she said.
Russell also feels it’s more helpful to talk to tellers when she has any issue.
“The personal touch is what I like,“ she said.
That personal touch is now moving farther away, thanks to consolidation. First National Bank closed 20 branches last year between May and October. The bank says this closure will help “maintain efficient and effective service.“
In the near future, residents in Centre Hall will need to head to the bank’s Boalsburg Branch about eight miles down the road.
“It won’t be a big thing, it will just be a minor adjustment,“ Russell said.
She added: “One of my favorite tellers is now going to be at Boalsburg.“
The Centre Hall branch will close on April,12, 2019. The bank will have an ATM available for use after they close. WTAJ was not given a timeline for how long that ATM will be open.