MOUNT VERNON — Banner Bank will permanently close its downtown Mount Vernon branch on Dec. 11, the company announced to customers.

The downtown branch will consolidate with the branch on Memorial Highway in west Mount Vernon, said Kelly McPhee, vice president of communications and public relations for Banner Bank.

The bank is closing the branch due to declining visits and a growing popularity of online and mobile banking, she said.

She said demand has increased in the past few years for digital banking services, and the pandemic has accelerated interest.

“Clients appreciate that type of flexibility and convenience,” she said. “Those things are driving down the frequency of going into a branch.”

Banner Bank, headquartered in Walla Walla, has a third Mount Vernon branch off East College Way.

McPhee said the west Mount Vernon branch has advantages, including easier access and more parking.

“In Mount Vernon, we’ve got several other branches nearby, so we don’t feel like we’re moving away services from clients,” she said.

The announcement comes a year and a half after Banner Bank acquired 12 Skagit Bank branches. The three Banner Bank branches in Mount Vernon are former Skagit Bank branches.

Banner Bank has 94 branches in Washington, with six locations in Skagit County.

McPhee said all branches in Skagit County are open for drive-thru service. In-person banking is by appointment only due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The bank employs 70 people across its Skagit branches and five at its downtown Mount Vernon branch, McPhee said. The bank will assist those employees in finding other possible jobs within the company, she said.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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