By Denise Allabaugh, Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
WILKES-BARRE — The M&T Bank branch at 44 W. Market St. in downtown Wilkes-Barre will close Friday, June 15, according to a bank spokesman.
The branch is located near Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Group, which is moving its offices to the Wilkes-Barre Center building on Public Square.
M&T Bank spokesman Philip Hosmer said the branch is closing as technology continues to change how people bank.
“Although branches are still important to customers, the entire industry is faced with declining traffic due to the increase in banking conveniently online and in the mobile channels,” Hosmer said. “Customers expect to be able to access financial services when, where and how is most convenient for them.”
Other branches in that area downtown, which once was a historic banking corner, also have closed.
They included Citizens Bank on West Market Street, which closed in 2013 and the upper floors of the building were converted to apartments.
The former Wyoming National Bank and later Wachovia Bank across the street is now the site of the Vault Grill & Bar with apartments on the upper floors.
First National Community Bank also closed a location on West Market Street and opened a branch on Public Square in 2013.
The only branch remaining on that corner is PNC Bank. The upper floors of that building also were converted to apartments.
M&T officials are investing in several enhancements designed to meet the changing needs of customers so they can bank “with us when, where and how they want to,” Hosmer said.
They include improved mobile banking capabilities with “Insta-balance” and alerts that allow customers to customize and monitor their accounts. Customers also can open accounts using mobile devices and receive and send money through an M&T app.
Three employees at the West Market Street branch have been offered similar positions at nearby M&T branches, Hosmer said.
Customers who used the M&T branch can bank at the branch at 115 J. Campbell Collins Drive off Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre or any other M&T branch or ATM, via its telephone banking center (1-800-724-2440), online at www.mtb.com or via its Apple and Android mobile apps