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March 28, 2013

Salin to close lobby at downtown branch

Drive-up, walk-up and ATM will remain open.

LOGANSPORT — Salin Bank will be closing all but its drive-up area at its branch at 421 E. Broadway this summer after more and more former lobby customers switch to drive-up and online services.

Angie Berry, bank sales officer for both Salin locations in Logansport, said 85 percent of the bank’s customers use the drive-up service.

“We have a huge amount of traffic in the drive-up,” Berry said. “It’s growing every day.”

She said that, along with more people using the bank’s online services, was leading to a decrease in customers coming into the building.

“When we monitor our clients and their use, we have given them direct deposit, online banking, online bill pay, all these wonderful services, and they’re just not coming into the lobby anymore,” Berry said. “We have a big building here that’s not being used as it could be.”

Jim Badger, senior vice president and director of marketing at Salin, agreed technology was one of the factors behind the change.

“The face of banking is changing as more and more young people are embracing technology,” Badger said.

Berry said she first started noticing a drop in people coming into the lobby after companies started offering employees direct deposit services and the bank started offering debit cards, allowing customers to withdraw cash from ATMs.

“When I started back in 1990, the bank used to be full of customers inside to cash checks,” Berry said. “Direct deposit and debit cards started driving the trend out of offices.”

With Salin’s drive-up services and its Eastgate location about two miles away at 2901 E. Market St., Berry said she didn’t feel it would have a negative effect on the branch’s customers.

“I don’t look for too much of an impact on our customers because they use the drive-up anyway,” she said, adding that the downtown location will be re-opening its walk-up window as well. “Our bank is very strong — it’s just a good business move to close the lobby.”

Berry said the bank is planning on selling or donating the building. The future owner will share it with Salin’s drive-up, which consists of a small office inside along with three lanes, an ATM and a walk-up window outside.

Badger said the lobby is scheduled to close July 6.

“I think the opportunities are unlimited, whether it be local government, county government or nonprofit,” Badger said. “That would be ideal space for them.”

Berry said anyone interested in purchasing the building can call her at 574-737-2624.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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