Buckley residents will soon have to add another destination to their list of errands when they leave town to shop.
As of Nov. 15, the local Columbia Bank branch will close after serving the community for the last dozen years, leaving the city without any banking services.
There were multiple reasons why the bank decided to close the branch, said Senior Vice President Nicole Sherman.
“These positions are never easy,” she said. “Some of what drives [this decision] is the fact that we provide a great client experience, but… clients are choosing different methods to do their banking. One of those methods is digital — mobile banking, online banking, etc. Our branches are definitely an essential part of our business model, but we also have to look at clients banking when, where, and how they want, so balancing that with giving them the continued in-branch experience.”
Additionally, there are three other branches within 12 miles of each other, with the Bonney Lake and Enumclaw branches offering extended opening hours on Saturday.
“It just made sense to consolidate Buckley into one of those branches that had extended hours,” Sherman continued, adding that the Buckley branch’s employees will continue working at other locations
But not everyone is happy with the decision.
“The road to Enumclaw is horrible with all the traffic,” said Buckley resident Emily Hanvold, referring to the often-congested state Route 410. “They said the other [branches] were so close that we’d be able to use them, but that’s not very convenient when you’re older and you’re not driving, or not supposed to be driving, and we don’t have busses here to take us.
“I certainly love the bank here. The people are just wonderful,” Hanvold continued.
The Black Diamond branch also closed in early August.