The downtown Bar Harbor branch of Camden National Bank is set to close at the end of March, pending regulatory approval. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Bank branch to close

BAR HARBOR — Camden National Bank plans to close their banking center on Cottage Street here effective March 31, company executives have said, citing declining business at the location.

Customers with accounts “booked” at that office, meaning they were opened there, received letters last week saying their accounts will be transferred to the bank branch in Town Hill. The change still needs to be approved by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Camden spokesperson Renee Smyth said.

“We weigh these decisions heavily as we continue to evolve,” Smyth said. “We’re strongly committed to the Down East and Mount Desert Island area.”

As more customers have adopted online banking tools, some branches have seen less traffic, according to June Parent, Camden vice president for retail banking.

“We look at the types of transactions people are doing there. It’s an area that is high-tourist, so it has different traffic than any other banking center.” Residents and businesses most often visit the bank in person for cash transactions, especially in the summer, she said. The company is exploring options for additional ATMs or other ways to help customers adjust.

“It’s not that easy to change bank accounts anymore,” Parent said. “Our goal is to make sure we’re retaining the customers that we have and are attracting new customers.”

The three employees at the Cottage Street location are working with Camden’s human resources department to look for other positions, Parent said.

“We’re pretty confident that we’ll have opportunities for them. These decisions are never easy. We have to make business decisions at certain times for the greater good. We always want to make sure we give consideration not only to our customers but also to our employees.”

Both the Cottage Street and Town Hill branches were part of Camden’s 2008 acquisition of Union Bankshares, parent company of Union Trust Company, which was a familiar name in Hancock County. The bank leases the space in the building owned by Cary and June Swan that also houses the Swan Agency, Sotheby’s International Realty, Swan Insurance and Friends of Acadia.

Camden National currently has 61 branches in Maine, according to the company’s website, and some lending offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The company employs 650 people and holds $3.9 billion in assets.

A new regional vice president for retail banking, Blaine Jones, began work this week, Smyth said. He will work in Machias and Ellsworth. Scott Fernald continues to serve as the company’s commercial lending officer for Hancock and Washington counties.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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