Many residents and businesses joke that there are too many banks in Andover. Now, one banking company agrees.
After a recent corporate merger between People's United Financial Inc. and Danvers Bancorp, one company with three bank branches within about a mile of each other has announced it is closing two of those branches.
People's United Bank branches at 342 North Main St., located at Shawsheen Square and previously RiverBank, and 18-20 Central St., previously Danversbank, will be closed in the near future. Resources from both branches will be combined at the third branch at 16 North Main St., located next to the Public Safety Center in downtown Andover, according to Valerie Carlson, a spokeswoman for People's United Bank.
"In order to be successful, we have to continually monitor our branch network," said Carlson. "As part of that, when we were looking at our Andover branches, it made sense to close (two) of them in order to be efficient and also while meeting our customer needs. It's not unusual."
The previous Danversbank branch on Central Street became a People's United Bank branch when People's United bought Danvers Bancorp for around $493 million in cash and stock options a year ago. The branch next to the safety center opened as a Butler Bank.
It wasn't long ago that there were no People's United Banks in town. Now with new branches here and across the country, People's United is looking at its network.
"When companies are getting involved in new markets, they'll look at what goes on in that market and make decisions on how to run it," said Carlson. "The focus is on our customers. Because the other branch is nearby, it made sense to us to combine the (three) branches."
The company plans to work with all employees at the two closing branches "to try to relocate them to other locations," said Carlson.
Joe Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, said the merger is a product of "the recession that we find ourselves in."
As businesses find it tougher to operate and ultimately weaken as time goes on, they're bought out by competition. Companies will continue merging so long as the economic trouble goes on unabated. Bevilacqua said he hopes it doesn't continue for much longer.
But this isn't necessarily a sad story in Andover. Despite two branches closing down, People's United Bank will maintain a presence in town, according to Bevilacqua.
"While you're losing the bricks and mortar of the building, you're not losing the bank," said Bevilacqua.
• • •
For feedback on this story, or for other story-related inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.