Urban Partnership Bank may close two branches

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The future of two South Side branches of Urban Partnership Bank, staples in their respective community, remains uncertain

The future of two South Side branches of Urban Partnership Bank, staples in their respective community, remains uncertain.

“Everything is on the table right now. But as it stands, we plan to close our branches in the Kenwood and Bronzeville communities by March 17,” Brian Berg, a spokesman for Urban Partnership Bank, told the Defender. “However, it is also possible that we may decide to remain at those locations.”

The branches set to close are located at 4659 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Kenwood community and 3401 S. King Drive in the Bronzeville community. Should the branches close, two new branches would be located in the vicinity of the old ones, according to Berg.

Customers will be informed about the new branch locations next month and if new branches are not ready to open by March 17, two temporary branches will be opened in the meantime, explained Berg.

The possible closings have upset one community organization.

Community activist Otis Monroe III, head of the Monroe Foundation, said the community is upset, in part, because UPB, formerly ShoreBank, did not meet with the community to discuss options prior to announcing the branch closures.

“They did not consult the community first before announcing the closures. We (the community) want to be apart of the dialogue,” Monroe said. “This is our community and we should have a say in what happens in our community.”

Additionally, Monroe said the community opposes both branch closings at the same time and is concerned that any new branch may not be conducive to the needs of the community.

“How do we know the new branches will be accommodating? At the end of the day they should have informed the community first,” explained Monroe.

UPB officials said should they move forward in relocating the branches the new locations would be better accessible and more accommodating.

Longterm, UPB wants its branches capable of supporting technology upgrades. For example, UPB does not offer mobile banking to customers like other banksbut is looking to offer this service in the future, said Berg.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender


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