southern Illinois

Sole Bank in Southern Illinois Town on Brink of Closure

The only bank in the small southern Illinois community of DeSoto will close later this year, leaving village officials scrambling to draw another one to the community of about 1,500 people.

Village President John Evans said town officials were informed that First Mid Bank and Trust would be closing its DeSoto branch office in April. Customers were told they had options with mobile banking and nearby locations.

The village has formed a committee that'll meet Monday evening. Member Lola Jones retired from the bank in 2008 after more than four decades.

“It was a community gathering place as well as a bank,” she said, according to The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan.

Robin Dean, a bank manager, said the lack of use, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, fueled the decision to close, according to WSIL-TV.

“And just like with COVID-19, people just stopped coming into the lobbies at all and once those people got used to the online mobile banking, we’re just not seeing them comeback into the branches,” said Dean.

DeSoto’s first bank opened in a grocery story in 1920, according to the Southern Illinoisan.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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