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Wells Fargo to close Belhaven branch in May

The Wells Fargo branch in downtown Belhaven will close effective May 13, according to a letter recently sent to area customers.

According to Wells Fargo representatives, an ATM will remain open at the site, with Belhaven customers having access to in-person services in Washington, Greenville and Vanceboro. Customer accounts will not be affected by the closure, according to Wells Fargo.

“We will close our Belhaven branch on May 13, and make plans to sell the building,” wrote Josh Dunn, with Wells Fargo corporate communications. “We will keep the ATM at that location open and monitor the number of transactions so that we can take appropriate steps to efficiently and effectively meet our customer’s financial needs.”

The closure is part of a trend for the fourth-largest bank in the United States. In 2018, the bank announced plans to close more than 800 branches by the end of 2020.

“This is not an easy decision or one that we take lightly,” Dunn wrote. “We continually evaluate our branch network, and make adjustments based on customer use, market factors, economic trends and competitor actions. This process leads to both expansion and closures. While branches continue to be important in serving our customers’ needs, we’ve seen customer traffic decline over the past few years as a result of customers handling more transactions outside of our branches.”

As to the employees at the Belhaven branch, Dunn said they will be able to apply for other positions within the company if they are qualified. For those who choose to go elsewhere, Dunn said the company will offer job search resources and other support as they transition to the next phase of their career.

The Wells Fargo location in Belhaven was formerly a Wachovia branch before the 2008 merger of those two institutions. With the closure of the branch, the number of bank branches in Belhaven falls to two — a First Bank branch on the corner of Main Street and U.S. Highway 264 and a Southern Bank branch on Main Street.

Wells Fargo customers can learn more about online banking options at www.wellsfargo.com/alwaysopen.