Rehoboth Beach-based County Bank has announced two branches will close by the end of the year.
County Bank CEO and Chairman Dave Gillan said both the Laurel and the Seaford retail locations will close; operations will be consolidated with the Georgetown location.
“We are not closing any other branches,” Gillan said. “We will be left with seven branches, all in southern Delaware.”
Besides Georgetown, Milton, Lewes, Milford, Long Neck, Rehoboth and Millville locations will remain open.
Gillan said the main reason for eliminating two branches was a lack of business in Laurel and Seaford. County Bank decided to expand to western Sussex and opened the Seaford branch in 1997. The Laurel branch opened in 2000.
The market crash and instability led to cutbacks at County Bank, which eventually led to the need to close two branches.
“The challenge has been, with the slow economy, that we just aren’t getting the business over there that we hoped for,” Gillan said. “Economically, we weren’t able to justify the expenses of having the two branches open.”
Locally owned County Bank opened in 1990. The bank now employs 88 people and has more than $341 million in assets.
The closure of the two locations will affect 11 employees, but Gillan said they have been invited to apply for other positions within the company.
“We have three positions open, and we hope they will take advantage of that,” Gillan said. “These are good employees. They have been great throughout this time.”
Gillan said County Bank has no expansion plans.
“It will be a highly competitive market over the next two years,” he said.
In 2011, the bank reported a loss of $6.2 million, but in the first six months of this year, the bank was showing a profit of $1.1 million, Gillan said.
“We know the people who work for us,” Gillan said. “This is not an easy thing to do. After the closing, our expenses will be more closely aligned to the revenue stream.”
The Georgetown branch is located on North Bedford Street, just off The Circle.
The Seaford branch is located at 632 West Stein Highway, and the Laurel location is at 1122 South Central Avenue.
County Bank is based at 19927 Shuttle Road in Rehoboth Beach. For more information, call 302-226-9800.