Only Bank in Virginia City to Close


VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. -- Many people might not physically visit their banks very often, but business owners and residents of Virginia City say they go as often as three times a week. What happens to a small mining community when its only bank closes for good? Come November, they'll have to bank on a new bank.

Many say that banks give a city its livelihood and for a small city like Virginia City, it reminds others that it's not a ghost town.

"We're a little isolated up here so having a bank up here for us is ideal. Being a small town, it's a large banking hub," one merchant said. "If you need a stack of ones or rolled coins in the middle of your day, where are you going to go?"

After 31 years of business, The only bank in the Comstock is closing its doors for good and it's taking convenience along with it.

"I'm kind of angry about it just because now I have to waste a bunch of time to go do my banking," one Virginia City resident said.

"I'm very disappointed. It's going to be very inconvenient to all the businesses in Virginia City and even the residents here because this is their bank too and a lot of people rarely leave the top of this mountain," a business owner said.

Bank of America issued a statement saying its decision to close the bank was "driven primarily by a decline in transactions, as customers increasingly rely on other channels such as mobile and online banking," leaving business owners and merchants frustrated.

"It's essential to businesses here in town especially businesses that deal with a lot of cash transactions, because you need a lot of change you've got to make cash deposits and you can't jam those into your phone and send them to the bank," local business owner said.

Starting in November, the main ATM in town will also be out of service. The closest bank these folks have to go to is in Carson City, which is about 30 minutes away or in Reno, which is about 40.

"Traveling tourists only carry a credit card and some places only accept cash so if we don't have an ATM or bank up here for them to receive cash then we're going to lose business," one resident said.

It's not the first time the Bank of America branch tried to close. back in 2005, enough complaints from locals kept it open, but unfortunately, that won't be the case this time around.

"For B of A, it's really disappointing that they would pull a service center from this area. I would think they'd know better."

"Kind of hoping that if Bank of America wants to bail on us then another bank will drop and pick up all the pieces."

Bank of America Officials also say they usually notify customers 90 days in advance, but will start notifying customers even earlier to give them more time to become familiar with their banking options.

The bank officially closes this branch on November 1.


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