Waterford Bank of America branch closing in March

Waterford — Bank of America plans to permanently close its Waterford location in the spring, part of an ongoing nationwide effort to cut costs by consolidating branches within a few miles of each other as customers increasingly rely on mobile and online banking.

The company recently sent notices to clients of the 68 Boston Post Road branch that it would shutter March 27, 2018. Tracy Esposito, the bank manager, confirmed the planned closure on Thursday, but said she could not comment further.

On Friday, Bank of America spokesperson Tara Burke said "a variety of things come into play" when the company decides to close branches.

"More and more people are banking via mobile phone," she said. "We have 25 million active mobile banking customers. When you see foot traffic down, it doesn't make sense to have three centers within a 4-mile radius."

Burke noted the company does not release the number of customers who bank at specific locations. Clients at the Waterford branch will be transferred to the New London center less than 2 miles away at 260 S. Frontage Road, Burke said. The branch at 25 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic, is about 4 miles from the Waterford spot, she added.

Bank of America also doesn't release the number of workers who could be impacted by the closure.

"We work with each employee and look for job opportunities within the bank," Burke said.

The Waterford branch is one of eight scheduled to close throughout Connecticut between February and August of next year, according to search results in Bank of America's online locator tool.

At least a dozen locations throughout the country are set to close either Feb. 27 or March 27, 2018, the online tool showed.

Bank of America, the second largest lender in the country, reportedly has closed almost 1,600 branches over the last several years.

"You're seeing this across the enterprise, not just Connecticut or the northeast, but across the entire footprint," Burke said. "There's definitely a change in customers' banking behaviors. Where it makes sense, we're consolidating. But in some markets, we're renovating and opening branches. It depends on the location."

Neither Esposito nor Burke could speak to how long the Waterford branch had been open, with Burke citing predecessor banks and acquisitions over the years.

Burke said Bank of America would sell the building, which property records show was built in 1985 and is assessed at $433,480.

b.kail@theday.com

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