Opening of New Bank Branch Will Fill Need in Mercer
MERCER, Pa. – The opening of a Mercer County State Bank branch later this year will help fill the void left by the closings of three other banks in the borough, a bank official said.
The Sandy Lake-based bank plans to open a branch in the building formerly occupied by PNC Bank, 147 N. Diamond St., Aubery Guzzo, the bank’s chief operating officer, said. An opening by Sept. 1 is planned if the bank is able to obtain the necessary equipment it needs to open safely.
During the past two years, PNC, Citizens and Huntington banks have all pulled out of the Mercer community, Guzzo reported.
“With these closures, there is currently no full-service bank in town, and we felt a strong need to be in this community,” she continued. “We heard the community outcry for the need of a full-service bank and feel we will have strong community support of the MCSB branch.”
The location will be a full-service branch like the 10 existing branches MCSB operates, she said. The branch will offer deposit accounts, including checking, savings and certificates of deposits to consumers and businesses; personal and business loans; and investment products.
“This is a natural extension of our existing footprint,” she said. “Mercer has been very receptive to the idea of MCSB being in town, and we are looking forward to the partnership.”
Julius Brodie, a current bank employee who is familiar with the Mercer market, will be the branch manager of the office. The bank has posted job openings for an assistant manager and two universal bankers.
Among those who welcomed the news was Emily Palmer, marketing and office administrator at ERA Johnson Real Estate and president of the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce.
The presence of a full-service bank will “take a huge weight off” Mercer area businesses that have to drive to other areas for banking services, she said. Her firm recently switched to MCSB for its banking needs, which now “costs us money and gas every time to drive out to Jackson Center” to conduct its business.
“It’s a huge breath of fresh air knowing that all those costs are going to go away for all the different businesses in town,” she said. Customers also will appreciate dealing directly with “that friendly face that most residents in Mercer are so used to having” and not having to work with “an automated machine.”
Existing businesses in the borough, including restaurants and shops, also will benefit from the bank’s presence. “It hopefully will bring a whole new set of eyes into Mercer, and people will be able to see the things here that they didn’t know were here,” she said.
Though no further expansions are planned now, the bank is always interested in looking if an opportunity arises, Guzzo acknowledged.
“Mercer is a great location that fits in well with our other community-based branches. We take deposits in the local community and lend those funds out in the same local communities,” she said. “We also support several local organizations through sponsorships and donations.”
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