Evansville, Ind.-based Old National’s entry into the Chicago market wasn’t expected to be accompanied by significant branch closures, since it had no retail presence here before. But bankers see reduced physical presence as an effective way to cut costs in an era when many customers handle most of their routine banking needs remotely.
“We have no other contemplated branch closures,” Old National President Mark Sander said in an email. “In all of the closures we just announced, we expect the client impact to be minimal.”
He expects the locations to be shuttered in March.
The three Chicago-area closures will leave Old National with 67 locations in the six-county area, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.
The two city branches that are closing are in Lakeview across from Wrigley Field (3747 N. Clark Street) and in Edgewater (1058 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.). Old National will have nine locations in the city after they’re shuttered.
“As it happens, the Wrigleyville branch was one of the least utilized in our Chicagoland network,” Sander said. “We have four other branches within a few miles that better align with client traffic.”
There’s a branch less than a mile from the Edgewater location with a more accessible drive-up, he said.
A bank has been at the downtown Waukegan branch since 1919, according to FDIC records. It held more than $800 million in deposits as of June 30, according to the FDIC, the most of any location Old National has in Illinois.
The amount of deposits has much to do with the housing of municipal accounts there, Sander said.
“From a consumer point of view, this is our smallest branch in a market where we have a strong presence, with many alternative locations in Waukegan and Lake County,” he said.
As for Knoxville customers, Old National has a location in nearby Galesburg. And employees at the Knoxville branch next year will work out of Galesburg, Sander said.
The moves come as Old National tries to build its brand in Chicago via television commercials and billboards. The bank stumbled during the summer with a bumpy computer systems conversion that left large numbers of retail customers unable to use debit cards for days.
The Chicago market is by far the largest Old National serves. With about $50 billion in assets, Old National has a presence in numerous Midwestern cities, including Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Wis., and Indianapolis. But Old National is no bigger than a top eight bank in any of its urban markets.
Bank executives have told Wall Street analysts they’re pleased so far with the Chicago transition, particularly in retaining and winning new business customers.