EAST LIVERPOOL - The 200 E. Fifth St. branch of PNC Bank will shut its doors permanently today.
The closure will leave several employees from that branch and the nearby branch on Oakmont Avenue without jobs.
In March of this year, PNC CEO William Demchak told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the corporation would be closing 200 branches across 19 states.
PNC has not yet disclosed all of the branches to be closed, however in May the bank named 10 branches in the Pittsburgh area that are scheduled to be shuttered.
Demchak said the closures are part of a $700 million cost cutting measure and noted the bank is attempting to cater more to their customers who are increasingly doing their banking online.
A letter sent to area PNC customers in May states that the bank plans to combine the downtown location with the nearby branch on Oakmont Avenue in St. Clair Township.
In June, word began circulating among customers of the Oakmont branch that the branch's employees would be let go and their jobs given to employees of the downtown branch. When contacted in June, PNC Public Relations Representative Marcey Zwiebel would neither deny nor confirm this saying only that PNC tries their best to place employees at another branch when one closes.
A now former employee of the Oakmont branch spoke about being let go on the condition of anonymity, saying that doing so could jeopardize their severance pay. The employee, who had been working for PNC for over a decade, said four of the six employees at the Oakmont Avenue branch will be let go and their jobs given to employees of the downtown branch.
According to the former employee, the two newest employees of the Oakmont Avenue branch will keep their jobs while four other employees with more time at the company will be let go.
The former employee said that PNC has been telling employees that those with the most time in at the company will get to keep their jobs. The former employee said this is false because she knows of an employee let go from the downtown branch who had more time in than other employees of that branch and the Oakmont branch. The former employee stated that two employees from the downtown branch have been let go, although one was preparing to retire before being let go. "We weren't given an accurate reason and I don't think it was done fairly," said the former employee.
East Liverpool City Council went on record opposing the downtown branch's closure shortly after it was announced and approved sending a letter to PNC asking the branch to stay open. Council stated it was important to the city's revitalization to have a national banking chain in the downtown.
PNC customers in the area will still have several locations to do their banking including an ATM at the rear on the downtown branch at the corner of Washington and Fourth streets. Other nearby PNC branches include two in Columbiana, three in the Steubenville-Wintersville area and one in Chippewa, Pa.