Lone St. Marys Chase Bank To Close

Staff Writer

In a few weeks, area residents who bank with JPMorgan Chase Bank in St. Marys will soon have to go elsewhere to do their banking.

Chase has sent 90-day notices out to its customers that it will close its branch at 125 W. Spring St. by July 30 and that customers who need to bank may go to its Wapakoneta branch located at 801 Defiance St.

“Like any good retailer, we constantly evaluate our branch network to ensure we’re in the right locations as our customers’ needs change,” said Andrew Blight, vice president of Corporate Communications for JP Morgan Chase, in an email Thursday. “Sometimes we consolidate a branch when another is nearby or traffic is low. This allows us to provide a strong, successful branch network that can serve our community for the long-term.”

In early 2015, Chase announced the closures of 300 bank branches, resulting in a $1.4 billion cost-cutting plan. That plan included another nearby branch that closed on Nov. 19, 2015 at 16 E. Auglaize St. in Wapakoneta. 

Chase is keeping its branches in county seats only.

“Spending wisely on our branches allows us to invest more in creating the best mobile and online banking products,” Blight said. “Chase has the most visited online portal, with more than 50 million active digital users, and is the industry’s top-ranked banking app, with more than 34 million active mobile users. 

“Our customers are rapidly adopting new technologies and innovations, such as mobile, online and in-branch technologies that allow them to bank how, where and when they want.”

But the impending branch closure has opened the door for other local banks.

With the days of Chase Bank in St. Marys numbered, Minster Bank Branch Manager Kathy Sampson is welcoming those who are surprised about Chase’s closure with open arms.

“For those who may be looking to stay local, we would love to assist them in getting accounts set up,” she said. “We have a wonderful staff that prides themselves in the fact that we know most of our customers on a first name basis and consider them as our extended family.  

“We love to hear about their families, their vacations, their friends and just their everyday events. We would welcome anyone to join our Minster Bank family, there can never be enough.”

She added that some of the Minster Bank staff are unaware of Chase’s St. Marys branch closure and said that if Minster Bank employees are surprised, so too will Chase customers who might still not know about the situation, especially if they do not have social media or have not received a letter yet.

“As a community member, it saddens me to see any business leave St. Marys especially one that has been with us for many years,” Sampson said. “As a business person, you like to support each other and even though they are a competitor of ours, I still look at it as a loss to our community.  

“Many of their employees are from St. Marys and have worked for many years at that location.  Many of those individuals are dear friends and wonderful people so you hate to lose them to other communities as a workforce.”

Kurt Neeper, Superior Credit Union’s senior vice president of business development, said that since Chase announced its closure of its St. Marys branch, there have been roughly 10 customers who have come to his business and about half of them have opened accounts with them.

“I think it unfortunate, but it is pretty typical of national banks to move away from rural America and then head to a more major metropolitan market,” Neeper added. “It has been the credit union success, honestly, to be able to fill that void in communities when larger national banks leave.”

Other than the Wapakoneta branch, there is a Chase Bank at 205 W. Market St. in Celina and four additional branches in Lima. 

For those who do not want to make the trip to Lima or would rather stay closer to home, there are other options in St. Marys. 

The town has several of banking options including Minster Bank, The People’s Bank Company, First Financial, 3Rivers St. Marys and Superior Credit Union, to name a few.