An Unexpected Bank is Now Closing 22 Branches

An unexpected bank is now closing 22 branches as it prepares for a merger with critics warning of the possibility of limited services.

New Jersey residents were shocked to learn that a total of 22 Provident and Lakeland bank locations will be shutting down, potentially leaving certain communities without a local branch.

“A careful and thorough review of our combined branch network was undertaken, and we have decided to close either a Provident branch or a Lakeland branch in cases where a single location can serve all of our customers,” the website states.

The $1.3 billion merger has caused quite a stir after the agreement was released to the public last year.

Many have called for stricter banking standards when shutting down branch locations.

“It does present an issue around equality in terms of accessing basic financial services,” Leila Amirhamzeh, director of development at the progressive advocacy group New Jersey Citizen Action told North Jersey.

”A lot of individuals really only access financial services through their local bank branches.”

“Any branch closure is going to impact the community,” she said

Many have worried that this closure could hurt elderly and low-income communities, who can’t afford to lose their local bank, reports The-Sun.

“The fewer banks there are, the less products there are, the less service, the less investment,” Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, former president of New Jersey Citizen Action, told the Asbury Park Press.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia proved in a recent report that places that have little to no banks in the area create a huge detriment to residents.

“Low- and moderate-income individuals and businesses in banking deserts may face increased challenges in accessing retail products and services, limiting their opportunity to improve their financial health and accumulate wealth.”

Other US bank branch closures seen nationwide include locations from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase.

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Also Read: A Massive US Bank is Now Closing Credit Cards

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Market News Today - An Unexpected Bank is Now Closing 22 Branches.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Bank is Now Closing 22 Branches.

A banker is now convicted for stealing money from customers while working at Bank of America over a 10-year period.

The personal banker was arrested after her years-long scam, resulting in nearly $300,000 being stolen, came to light.

Police in Seneca, South Carolina said they received a report in 2013 about missing money from an account with Bank of America.

The victim, who also reported the incident to the Customer Service department, told police he was missing around $30,000.

Investigators worked with Bank of America for several weeks after the crime was reported and learned that an employee who had been stealing money from several people in Oconee County.

The police said the victims would use the Bank of America location in Seneca as their primary bank and Bobbi Cortese was their personal banker.

Seneca Police investigators and the US Secret Service spent nearly a decade doing more interviews.

Meanwhile, Bank of America was given time to complete an internal investigation.

It was revealed that Cortese had stolen nearly $300,000 from four people while working at the bank.

Some of the money was in the victims’ bank accounts for life insurance payouts related to the deaths of their spouses.

Others had a lifetime of earnings that was supposed to be used for their retirement, said police.

Cortese would open accounts under the victims’ names without their knowledge or consent and would perform a “shell game.”

This is when a scammer uses the money from one victim to replace what she stole from another victim.

After investigating further, police said Cortese forged several documents and issued them to the victims to hide the theft.

She committed these acts for about four years while working at the Bank of America, said police.

Cortese was arrested in May 2023 and charged with four counts of breach of trust and two counts of forgery.

She was later fired by the bank, reports The-Sun.

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Also Read: A Massive Bank Now Freezes Money From Direct Deposits

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Market News Today - An Unexpected Bank is Now Closing 22 Branches.
Market News Today – An Unexpected Bank is Now Closing 22 Branches.

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