Chase bank set to close branch this spring

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published January 28, 2015

 Chase Bank has plans to close the Kelly Road branch this spring.

Chase Bank has plans to close the Kelly Road branch this spring.

Photo by April Lehmbeck

HARPER WOODS — David Haugan has been banking at Chase Bank on Kelly for years, so when he found out about the bank’s plans to shutter the doors of his home branch, he was frustrated.

“I don’t like the idea,” he said. “That bank has always been our bank down the street.”

As a customer of that branch, Haugan received a letter saying that the branch would close in April, and Haugan is worried about it becoming a vacant building on Kelly.

“I’m really disappointed about it all,” he said, adding that he’s been in the city since the 1950s and has been a loyal customer for decades.

He’s hoping for another financial institution, such as a credit union or another bank.

“I don’t think we need another night club,” he said.

“When I came to Harper Woods, it was a more walkable area for doing your shopping on Kelly,” Haugan said. “We still have a need to do our banking there.”

Haugan isn’t alone in his concern.

City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk found out about the future closing when he received the letter.

“They sent letters to their customers announcing they were merging their Vernier branch and the Kelly Road branch,” he said.

While he doesn’t think there’s anything he can do to stop the branch from closing, he did contact the company to let them know that he believed the letter was missing a couple pieces of required information based on the FDIC regulations for closing banks in low- to moderate-income areas.

One of the requirements that he felt was missing in the letter is an explanation of the reasons why the bank was closing.

He also asked for a meeting with the bank representatives concerning the plans for that building.

“There’s going to be a lot of disenfranchised customers without cars in that area,” Skotarczyk said. “We’re not happy.” 

A Chase Bank media representative issued a statement to the Advertiser Times.

“We continually review our branch network and have decided to consolidate a branch into a nearby branch that can provide all the products and services customers need,” JPMorgan Chase Media and Community Engagement representative Christine Holevas said in an email. “Our branch employees are happy to discuss branch options and banking services with our customers.”