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Wells Fargo closing branch but leaving ATM in Foresthill

Longtime resident says it is a big loss for the community
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Foresthill’s only bank will close March 2. The Wells Fargo branch on Racetrack Street will be consolidated into the bank’s three Auburn locations, spokeswoman Julie Campbell said Wednesday. ‘We will continue to have a presence in Foresthill,” Campbell said. “We’re leaving our ATM at the site. So our customers will be able to do their banking, get cash, make deposits and get statements— a variety of things they can get at the ATM.” Customers can also bank by phone at the 1-800 number as well as by mail or online, she said. No other branches are being closed at this time, she said. “We always reevaluate our products, services and geography,” she said. “We made this change as part of reevaluating services for our customers. At this point, we’re consolidating. It’s part of our culture.” Wells Fargo acquired the branch when it purchased Placer Sierra Bank in 2007. According to Campbell, the Foresthill site’s four employees will be moved to other bank locations. “No jobs will be lost,” she said. The community partnership will continue as well, she added. “Many of the team members who work there and at other (Wells Fargo) stores live in that community. We still will continue to support the community through grants and volunteerism as we have in the past. We’re hoping the closure will have minimal impact with the ATM still there and the other options. We want to make sure the community has a way to bank with us.” Because the ATM will remain, there are no plans to give up the building, she said. For longtime Foresthill resident Kelly Scanlan, closure of the branch will have a significant impact. “I’ve always banked in Foresthill,” she said. “I think the bank has changed hands probably five times in the last 25 years. I bank there for convenience.” Having the ATM still in place is no comfort for her. “No. 1, I don’t use ATMs. I don’t feel comfortable with that,” she said. “I like to go in and have a personal relationship. They greet me by name in there. That’s great.” Scanlan estimates she goes to the bank a couple of times a week. “So now, I’ll have to (drive) to Auburn or learn to be comfortable with an ATM,” she said. “(There will be) no bank in Foresthill, maybe for the first time ever. It’s a shame. It’s very inconvenient. … I’m not always in Auburn when the bank is going to be open.” Scanlan also questions the need for Wells Fargo to hang on to the building, if it is just for the ATM. “Personally, I feel Wells Fargo is a hugely profitable corporation,” she said. “I feel like they have an obligation to provide service for their customers, whether it is a profitable location or not. I think they have an obligation to serve their customers.” Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com.