WEST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A community bank is leaving some Central Illinois communities.
Leaders from Busey Bank confirmed Tuesday, the West Peoria, Willow Knolls, and Southwest Adams Street branches are closing. A location on Fourth Street in Pekin is shutting down too.
The branches close this November, leaving some with nowhere to go nearby.
“We’ve come here since I can remember,” said Andrew Sorrel, who banks at the West Peoria location.
It is a connection that goes back years for some.
“Since I was a paperboy,” said West Peoria Mayor James R. Dillon. “So it is sad.”
Dillon said it has been a big part of West Peoria, too.
“It’s a main part of what we would call our downtown area, and they’ve been a fixture here for a long time,” said Dillon.
The closures are creating problems for people who come to the location.
“It is a huge convenience for us being five minutes away and now that they’re closing, the nearest one is going to be on Sheridan Road, and that’s a 10, 15-minute drive,” said Sorrel.
However, it is not just hurting the people who live nearby.
“The city does bank there, has a considerable amount of money in the bank, and a lot of our senior citizens bank at the bank,” said Dillon.
Dillon said bank leaders told him the closures come as more are using mobile banking apps.
“For the younger people that can do things electronically, things probably won’t change. But you know for the seniors and people like myself, it is going to be different,” said Dillon.
Sorrel said he uses the app to check his balances, but he said it is something not everyone can do.
“There are still many people in the community who need to have in-person banking, they need to talk to a banker, either they don’t have access to the technology or they don’t understand the technology,” said Sorrel.
The branches are set to close on Nov. 19, 2021.
In a statement, Andy Cave, a Busey spokesperson said the company made a decision to consolidate branches to ensure a “balance in our service center network and digital banking services.”