LA GRANDE — La Grande will be losing one of its Community Bank branches.

The downtown location at 904 Adams Avenue is set to close Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. In an announcement on Sept. 14, the bank stated the location will be consolidated with the La Grande Valley branch at 2313 Adams Avenue.

“The last 18 months or so, banking has undergone a significant change where a lot of our customers have been introduced to other forms of banking during COVID-19,” Community Bank President and CEO Tom Moran said. “That allows them to bank without entering a bank branch in order to adhere to social distancing.”

According to Moran, the reduced flow of in-person traffic led to the decision to combine into one branch. He noted that a large number of Community Bank customers have embraced digital banking methods during the pandemic. The Joseph-based bank has locations across Northeastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington.

All the in-person services offered at the downtown branch will still be available to patrons at the La Grande Valley branch. Moran does not expect any major disruption in operations with the transition.

Customers of the bank will not be required to make any adjustments during the branch closure, unless they have a safe deposit box at the downtown location. Account numbers will not be changed and the use of debit and credit cards will not be interrupted, as well as online banking, the bank’s mobile app and handwritten checks.

The decision comes just weeks after Umpqua Bank announced it will close its downtown branch on Adams Avenue and consolidate it into the Island Avenue location. Umpqua Bank stated similar reasoning, noting that online banking has lessened the need for in-person services.

According to Moran, it remains to be determined how the Community Bank staff will be impacted by the transition.

“Any time we have things like this we do have spots that we’re looking to fill,” he said. “We hope to retain as many employees as we can in the transition.”

The branch will officially close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 10.

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