Fidelity Bank to close Hamlet, Ellerbe branches

Mabe: Consolidation is the ‘cost of doing business’

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Previous coverage
* May 20: Fidelity Bank to relocate, close downtown branch

ROCKINGHAM — As part of an ongoing effort to maximize efficiencies, Fidelity Bank will close its Hamlet and Ellerbe offices on or about Jan. 1, 2015.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Fidelity Bank’s downtown Rockingham location will close in January 2015 when construction of its new office on East Broad Avenue is completed.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Fidelity Bank’s downtown Rockingham location will close in January 2015 when construction of its new office on East Broad Avenue is completed. The bank announced this week that the Hamlet and Ellerbe branches also will close.

Letters were mailed to affected customers Wednesday. They began to be received as soon as Thursday; many more on Friday.

In the first week of 2015, Wiley Mabe, senior vice president and area supervisor, said the new Rockingham office should be move-in ready. The site of the former Rockingham Fish Camp is under construction and the downtown location on East Washington Street will close.

How many, if any, jobs lost will depend primarily on how many customers maintain their accounts with Fidelity Bank, Mabe said Friday in an interview with The Pee Dee Post. Remaining with Fidelity Bank — regardless of where physical office is — will be easier than ever if customers take advantage of technologies, including online bill pay and online banking.

“The technology has given people the ability to bank where ever they want to,” Mabe said.

Mabe said bank officials hope to transfer almost everyone to the new location, which will have expanded drive-through lanes and customer service options in the lobby.

“We hope we can,” Mabe said. “It depends on what the final numbers look like.”

The new office on Broad Avenue will be “the Richmond County office for Fidelity Bank,” Mabe said. “Once we get it open, we will consolidate Hamlet and Ellerbe at this location.”

Mabe chalked it up to the “cost of doing business,” which continues to increase — staffing, health insurance, utilities and more.

Upon receipt of the letters, some customers approached Mabe and other bank employees and wondered how they managed so long, Mabe said.

He said there’s be an inconvenience for businesses that deal a lot in cash — convenience stores, cab companies and the like, but “but most employees, most people, they get direct deposit.”

A lack of parking and no elevator to help customers to the second floor of the downtown building played a role in the decision to move to Highway Business 74, Mabe said.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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