A local institution has been the victim of “consolidation,” as a company spokesperson called it. Employees of the Rogers City branch of the Huntington National Bank have been notified of the impending branch closure.
A notice that the Rogers City branch will “permanently close Friday, January 13, 2023” was posted at the front door and in the drive-thru on October 13, 90 days before the closing date. The notice further states: “But this is not a farewell! We look forward to serving you at this nearby location: Hillman…”
The four employees who work at the Rogers City branch were notified the previous week, although it was unclear whether they would get positions at other branches.
Almost Isle Newspapers contacted Huntington headquarters and got a response from communications manager Samantha A. Myers, who answered some questions but left others unanswered.
“Huntington National Bank is continually evaluating the branch network and products and services to meet changing customer needs. Our multi-year plan allows us to expand our branch presence in several strategic high-growth markets, as well as invest in our legacy branch network through building and ATM upgrades. We will fund these investments through thoughtful network optimization that will include 31 branch consolidations in January 2023 in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota. All affected colleagues will be offered jobs at nearby Huntington sites so they can continue to support the communities they are now a part of,” Myers said.
WHILE NOT Putting it in no uncertain terms, the statement implies that improvements in “high growth markets” will come at the cost of closing 31 branches in five states. Follow-up questions for clarification to Myers were not answered.
The closest locations are at Hillman and Alpena; however, Alpena’s downtown branch on Chisholm is part of the consolidation, reducing to two four branches in northeast Lower Michigan.
“The impending closure of the Huntington Bank branch here in Rogers City is not what our community was hoping for, but neither was it unexpected. Once our local bank was taken over first by Chemical Bank, followed by TCF and immediately after by Huntington, the writing was on the wall. Citizens and local businesses support local financial institutions because these businesses are seen as giving back to the community. The migration of accounts to Awakon, Calcite Credit Union and Huron State Bank has taken place over the past few years as we have all seen our local businesses donate to local schools, concerts, the Main Street program and other other community-focused initiatives,” said Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan.
“The lesson here is that the most successful businesses in a small community are those that give back and invest in activities that help their town thrive and be more vibrant. We are really lucky to have exceptional local financial partners.
Alex Harimoto, executive director of Rogers City, Michigan Main Street, spoke about his thoughts on the impending closure.
“It is sad to hear that the Huntington Bank will be closing in Rogers City. While this may be seen as a small stumble for our community, I remain optimistic for the future,” Harimoto said.
THE BANK Business in Rogers City began as a private bank started by CH Osgood in 1890. The first check cashed at the bank came from Advance founder Fredrick Denny Larke. The first place of business was a house on Huron Avenue before moving to a building at the current location of Renick Brothers Plumbing and Heating. In 1906, Osgood and his new partner Paul. H. Hoeft obtained a charter to form the Almost Isle County Savings Bank, which opened on January 2, 1907 with total resources of $75,990.40.
In 1922, the bank merged with the State Savings Bank of Rogers. Another change came in 1949 when the bank’s shares were purchased, bringing new management to the bank with GJ Kane appointed as president and John Blasky serving as cashier.
In 1910 a new domed building at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Third Street opened, which was razed in March 1964 to make way for the current building which opened on September 15, 1964.
OVER THE LAST years the bank has changed owners and changed names including Farmers and Merchants, North Bank, Independent Bank, Chemical Bank, then TCF in 2020, with Huntington taking over in November 2021.
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is an American bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It was founded in 1866 by Pelatia Webster “PW” Huntington and operates banks in 10 states.
Rogers City continues to be served by local institutions Huron State Bank, Awakon Federal Credit Union, and Calcite Credit Union.