Peoples Bank shutters Kennewick loan office

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By Michelle Dupler

Peoples Bank recently opted to close a Kennewick loan production office on West Gage Boulevard with little fanfare.

A statement from the bank described the location as a “small commercial loan production office” and “not a customer-facing branch.”

The bank declined to say why the office closed, only that the loans produced at the Kennewick office are now being serviced by a Peoples Bank commercial banking office in Wenatchee.

“Affected customers were personally notified, and any impact to their business was minimal,” according to the statement.

The privately-owned Bellingham-based bank has been in operation since 1921 and operates 25 branches and one loan production office in Washington state, according to its website. With the closure of the Kennewick office in Benton County, remaining locations are in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Snohomish, King, Chelan and Douglas counties.

The bank provides business banking, retail banking and home lending services. According to its 2016 year-end report, the bank had business loans totaling more than $968 million, consumer loans in excess of $380 million, and total deposits of more than $1.4 billion. Those numbers all showed increases compared to the end of 2015.

Peoples Bank did not disclose how many employees worked at the Kennewick loan office prior to its closure. The bank did not file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice with the Washington Employment Security Department notifying the state of any employee layoffs.

Employment Security Department Spokeswoman Janelle Guthrie said federal labor law requires the notices when an employer with 100 employees or more conducts a mass layoff at a single site of at least 33 percent of active employees and at least 50 employees.