PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Signs saying local PNC branch banks are closing will be more common as Pittsburgh-based PNC moves to close at least 200 branches in the many states it serves.
Local branches closing or already closed this year include: Aspinwall, Belle Vernon, Cecil, Clairton, Hopwood, Huntingdon, Masontown, Mt. Lebanon, Oakland and Uniontown.
In some of these communities, other competitor banks are available for local residents, but that’s not so in Clairton where PNC’s closing means the end of local branch banking.
“They closed this one, now that one. What are the people going to do?” one resident asked.
PNC says people can drive to another branch just a few miles away.
“It’s going to be hard, especially for people who don’t have a car,” adds another.
PNC’s new CEO Bill Demchak has said the bank wants to cut costs by replacing branches with more sophisticated ATM machines, but many prefer talking to real people.
“They have a great team and staff in there who are accessible to us,” said one resident in Cecil.
One PNC branch bank that won’t close but could move is the one in Market Square.
Why? Because the owners of the building say they want to energize that part of the square.
The building is part of the PPG complex owned by Highwoods Properties of Raleigh, N.C.
Appearing recently on the Sunday Business Page, Highwoods CEO Ed Fritsch told KDKA money editor Jon Delano: “If you and I stood in the middle of Market Square, three of the four quadrants are very energized with lively retail, but ours isn’t.”
While activity in much of the square goes on into the evening, that’s not so at the bank and its neighbors in PPG.
“The folks at PNC have been very cooperative working with us to shift their bank a little bit so we have space to market to retailers,” noted Fritsch.