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Farmers & Merchants Bank announces branch closure
Local bank is making changes to its mobile capabilities, too
Brett Morgan Web
Brett Morgan, president and CEO of Farmers & Merchants Bank - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

From Staff Reports

A local bank will close one of its branches soon as part of a series of changes, said Brett Morgan, president and CEO of Farmers & Merchants Bank (FMB).

He announced that the College Plaza Branch of the bank will close March 28.

“The bank’s board of directors and senior management made the decision after careful evaluation and monitoring trends for several years,” he said in a statement released Monday.

Traffic patterns, transaction volumes and proximity to the bank’s other locations “reinforced the prudent business decision that, while difficult, was warranted.”

The bank’s headquarters on North Main Street is only 1.5 miles away and the Brannen Street branch is 1.8 miles from the College Plaza location. College Plaza opened in 1976 and was the first Statesboro branch of FMB, he said.

“We took many things into consideration,” he said.  “They included traffic patterns, convenience of our other locations to our customers, and the impact of new delivery channels customers utilize including internet banking, telephone banking, mobile banking and remote deposit capture.”

The banking company plans to replace and upgrade the majority of its ATM network in 2014. The ATM at College Plaza will be upgraded to include deposit imaging, which “has the capability to accept a number of checks that are scanned and imaged, eliminating the need for envelopes,” he said.

Morgan also announced FMB will be expanding its technology and product offerings. The bank will release details regarding products in the spring.

“This is an exciting time for FMB,” he said. “We will be adding mobile banking, early in the second quarter of 2014 for our customer’s convenience. This is in addition to our Internet banking, telephone banking and remote deposit capture already in place.”

FMB, founded in 1948, is Bulloch County and Statesboro’s only remaining community owned, independent bank, Morgan said.

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