Bank of America shutters Brookland Park branch despite neighborhood pushback

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The Highland Park branch at 1307 E. Brookland Park Blvd. closed in March. (Michael Schwartz)

RICHMOND, Va. — A financial giant has exited a Northside Richmond neighborhood, leaving its real estate – and the banking market in that part of town – up for grabs.

Bank of America last month shut down its branch at 1307 E. Brookland Park Blvd. The closure came despite pushback from neighboring businesses and residents, who, with City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson on their side, tried to change the bank’s mind.

They argued that the BofA outpost is the only bank branch in the neighborhood, with the next closest being 2½ miles away. The closure, they said, leaves the area without an easily accessible, traditional banking alternative to payday lenders and check-cashing shops.

The group saw the closure as particularly ill-timed, pointing to recent interest in the neighborhood from developers and new business.

BofA has said the closure was based on the location’s performance from declining customer traffic, coupled with changes in overall branch traffic due to online and mobile banking. The branch held $13.53 million in deposits as of June 30, 2016, according to FDIC records – far below the deposit levels of any of BofA’s 23 offices in the Richmond metro market.

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