Capital One alerts customers it will close Greenport branch in May

02/01/2019 12:12 PM |

Customers of the Capital One bank in Greenport have been notified that the branch will close in May.

According to a letter sent this week, the branch will close May 9, but customers’ accounts would not be affected by the change.

“We understand that this news may be disappointing — please know that we did not make this decision lightly,” the letter states.

The company cited growth, such as investing in digital features, as factors that have led to branch closings recently.

A manager at the Greenport branch declined to comment, and referred a reporter to a corporate spokesperson.

Capital One spokesperson Amanda Landers said current customers are encouraged to call or visit the Greenport branch to ask questions and find out their available options before May 9.

“Our bank leaders recognize the effect closing this branch will have on our customers and do not take it lightly,” Ms. Landers wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “As Capital One continues to evolve and optimize our branch network in response to changing customer banking preferences and to ensure we’re operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, decisions are made to open, renovate, and in some instances, close or relocate branches. We regularly review our entire branch network.”

Greenport Village mayor George Hubbard Jr. said he learned of the branch closing on Facebook Thursday night.

“I think it’s sad,” he said Friday morning. “What started as a community, local bank got bought up by big business and the first thing they do is look at their bottom line, not customer service.”

The bank building, located on Main Street in Greenport, was formerly home to North Fork Bank.

Capital One acquired all North Fork Bank branches in a $13.2 billion “stock and cash transaction” in 2006.

In 2017, Capital One shuttered branches in downtown Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island and consolidated two branches in Mattituck.

“A lot of people who used the bank on Shelter Island would walk to Greenport,” Mr. Hubbard said. “Now that will be completely impossible.”

The mayor also expressed concern about the the fate of the employees. “I don’t know what they will do,” he said.

Ms. Landers assured their jobs were safe.

“As part of this consolidation, we were able to ensure all of our associates could maintain their positions and move to other branches,” she said.

Mr. Hubbard and other village officials are concerned about a vacant building in the center of Greenport. “It will be very unsightly,” he said, expressing doubt that another bank would move in. Chase Bank and BNB already have established branches, he said, and online-only banking has grown in popularity.

The mayor remarked that the branch had been well-used.

“The parking lot was always full,” he said.

He quickly shut down an idea of the village purchasing the property to create additional parking.

“It’s commercial property downtown. You’d be taking it off the tax rolls,” he said.

He’d much rather see a multi-use building that could bring retail and affordable second-floor apartments take over.

“I don’t want to see a vacant building right downtown,” he said.

Customers affected by the closure are invited to share comments with the Office of the Comptroller of Currency by writing to 340 Madison Ave. 5th floor, New York, NY 10017-2613 attention: Licensing Manager by May 9.

According to the letter, the agency “does not have the authority,” to prevent the branch from closing.

Photo caption: The Greenport branch on Main Street. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

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