NORTH ADAMS -- Hoosac Bank has petitioned the Massachusetts Division of Banks to close its financial center on Main Street in Williamstown.
The branch has been in operation since 2002, but is located within a mile of the Main Street building occupied by Williamstown Savings Bank, which merged with Hoosac Bank last year. Williamstown Savings Bank is now referred to as a division of Hoosac Bank, which is a member of North Adams-based MountainOne Financial Partners.
MountainOne's President and CEO Thomas S. Leavitt said Hoosac Bank plans to merge all of the banking services in its two Williamstown facilities at the Williamstown Savings Bank building, which is located at 795 Main St.
"This was not as well used as our Williamstown Savings Bank branch," said Leavitt. "It did offer conveniences, but they were very close together.
"This is a carry-over from last year to bring our services under one roof," he said. "We have lots of room to do that at 795 Main Street."
Filing a petition with the Massachusetts Division of Banks is the first step in the closure process, Leavitt said. Any objections or comments to Hoosac Bank's proposal are required to be sent in writing to Commissioner of Banks David J. Cotney within two weeks of Friday. Cotney's office is located on the 10th floor of 1000 Washington St. in Boston. The zip code is 02118.
Hoosac Bank expects to receive final approval to close the branch by June 29, two days before the start of fiscal 2014.
The financial center has six employees, Leavitt said, but has already been impacted by the staff reductions Hoosac Bank has undergone as it prepares to merge under a single charter with South Coastal Bank, another MountainOne partner. One staffer at the financial center has been given another position within the company.
"Some of the other staff may have opportunities as we get through the second quarter to be placed in other roles depending on where we go as an organization," he said.
Leavitt said the decision to close the financial center in Williamstown was not required as a condition of the merger between Hoosac and South Coastal banks. When Berkshire and Legacy banks merged two years ago, Berkshire was required to close several Legacy branches in the county because the banks were located so close to each other.
"This was an internal decision," Leavitt said.
MountainOne Financial Partners is a mutual holding company with assets of $800 million and 200 employees. Hoosac Bank, South Coastal Bank and Williamstown Savings Bank are the only banks who belong to the partnership.