By Lydia Wheeler
Bank of America closed one bank branch in Norfolk last week and plans to close a second branch at the Beach come January.
The 5,882-square-foot branch, built in 1970 at 3717 Hampton Blvd., closed to customers on Friday.
"After careful consideration, we have decided to close our Old Dominion banking center on Sept. 13," said Nicole Nastacie, a Bank of America regional spokeswoman, in an email response to calls made last week. "Customer letters were mailed several months ago to give them ample time to become familiar with another location, including our Ghent banking center that is less than a mile away."
The banking center on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story at 1225 Amphibious Drive, Building 3447, in Virginia Beach, is set to close Jan. 1.
"These decisions are driven primarily by a decline in transactions, as customers increasingly rely on other channels including mobile and online banking," Nastacie said.
Bank of America would not disclose the number of workers affected by the closures. A teller at the Old Dominion location in August said three employees and two managers worked at the bank branch. She said corporate told them they would be relocated to area branches, but they had not received new assignments.
"When a banking center closes, we provide various forms of assistance to impacted employees, including helping them find other opportunities within the company," Nastacie said, when asked if employees will be reassigned or laid off.
Currently, Bank of America has more than 17 banking centers in Virginia and approximately 5,300 branches nationwide, but more closures are expected in coming years.
"As we've acknowledged on numerous occasions," Nastacie said, "the number of banking centers in our nationwide network will trend down over the next few years."
Chris Henderson, of CBRE | Hampton Roads, is marketing the now vacant branch on Hampton Boulevard, but he said his contract with Bank of America bars him from talking with the media about the property listing. The Old Dominion banking center was assessed in July for $1.2 million, according to city records.
Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker said Bank of America closed a branch and four ATMs in March 2012 at Naval Station Norfolk and a branch and ATM at Naval Station Oceana in Virginia Beach on March 22.
The nationwide bank was leasing all branch buildings and ATM locations from the Navy. Naval Station Norfolk, Baker said, is still looking for a bank to replace Bank of America on the base.