Liberty Bank plans to close Beacon Falls branch among others

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

BEACON FALLS — Liberty Bank plans to close six branches statewide, including the one in town, by the end of the year.

Bank officials have filed applications to close the branches with the Connecticut Department of Banking and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said Adam J. Jeamel, senior vice president and corporate communications manager for the bank.

Aside from the Beacon Falls branch at 127 South Main St., the Middletown-based bank also plans to close branches at 61 Bank St., New London; 1570 Southford Road, Southbury, 1232 Farmington Ave., West Hartford; 774 Farmington Ave., Bristol; 7 Main St., Essex.

Jeamal said officials evaluate branch profitability, transaction volume, market penetration, and growth of households and deposits, along with other factors, when deciding to close branches.

“We are continuously evaluating all aspects of our business, including our branch network and ways to reinvest in the bank,” Jeamel said.

If the bank receives regulatory approval to close the branches, Jeamel said officials will give customers at least 90 days advance notice of the closings. He said the branches would close by the end of the year.

Jeamel declined to answer how many employees work at the Beacon Falls branch, saying the bank typically doesn’t give out information on the number of employees at a branch. He said the bank “is committed to making every effort” to relocate workers from branches slated for closure.

Liberty Bank has 63 branches in the state, according to its website. There are two branches in Naugatuck — one on Church Street and another on New Haven Road — and one on West Street in Seymour within 5 miles of the Beacon Falls branch.

The branch in Beacon Falls is the only physical bank in town. It used to be a branch of Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, which merged with Liberty Bank in 2015.

First Selectman Gerard Smith said he has talked with Liberty Bank officials at length about keeping the branch open and will continue to do so. He said many local businesses use the bank, and town officials are trying to persuade the bank to stay in town.

“I was shocked and I was saddened that we would lose our only bank and our partner in the town,” Smith said.