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Heartland to close DePue branch

DEPUE — Heartland Bank and Trust has decided to close its DePue branch.

The four employees of the Heartland Bank and Trust branch were notified Monday the bank will shutter the doors of the DePue banking facility on Sept. 30. Letters were set to go out today (Tuesday) to notify customers.

A press release issued by the bank late Monday afternoon said “a decline in customers visiting the branch due to the convenience of electronic banking services” is the reason for Heartland’s decision to close the DePue facility.

“In doing the research and looking at the traffic patterns of that facility, it just didn’t warrant the branch in DePue,” said Heartland Vice President/Retail Director Paula Mitchell. “We just can’t sustain the branch itself in that location.”

The release also said Heartland wants “to continue serving the DePue community through nearby branches in Spring Valley, Peru, Oglesby, Henry and Princeton.”

The DePue branch will continue to serve customers until 3 p.m. Sept. 30. Those wishing to stay with Heartland will not need to take any action on their accounts. Safe deposit boxes will physically be moved to the Spring Valley location. The four DePue employees will remain employed at other Heartland branches.

Heartland CEO Fred Drake said the bank will continue to support the Young Men’s Club, Christmas Committee and DePue school sponsorships for 2014.  

On Monday afternoon, lifelong DePue resident Tom Dobrich was unaware of the closing.

“For many people, having a bank in town allows them to take care of their money without having to travel,” he said, expressing concerns about older residents.

“There are also a large number of Hispanic people in the community who do a lot of banking in DePue, and the Heartland people have done a good job with their needs. It’s unfortunate,” he said.

No other local Heartland branches are being considered for closure.

On Nov. 2, 2013, the former Citizens First National Bank was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. The FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Heartland Bank and Trust of Bloomington to assume all the deposits of Citizens and its customers, which included the DePue bank.

BCR Staff Writer Goldie Currie contributed to this story.

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