Wells Fargo to close Beale Street branch

The Wells Fargo branch downtown, 302 E. Beale St., will close at noon June 13, the manager confirmed Tuesday. (By Gabriel Vanslette, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56961238)

The Wells Fargo branch downtown, 302 E. Beale St., will close at noon June 13, the manager confirmed Tuesday. (By Gabriel Vanslette, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56961238)

KINGMAN – The Wells Fargo Bank branch at 302 E. Beale St. is closing at noon June 13, the manager confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

She could not speak officially on behalf of the bank, but said customers have received a letter informing them of the closure. She did not know the number of customers affected.

Lee Anderson has been banking at the downtown Wells Fargo for six years, and said he was “shocked” to learn that it will be closed.

“I assume the employees have been notified, but I was just there this morning and nothing was mentioned about it,” Anderson said Tuesday in a message to the Daily Miner. “It will be a terrible loss to me and the other customers who use this bank.”

Wells Fargo still has a branch at 3940 Stockton Hill Road, and a location inside Smith’s at 3490 Stockton Hill Road.

Scrambling to cut costs and offset legal expenses, the bank closed more than 200 branches last year, and announced in January that it would be closing 800 additional branches by 2020, leaving it with about 5,000 branches.

“This is not an easy decision or one that Wells Fargo takes lightly,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Elyse Mohler said in an email to the Daily Miner. “We are constantly evaluating our branch network and this process leads to both expansion and closures. In the case of this Kingman branch, it simply comes down to proximity as we have a branch and an in-store location on nearby Stockton (Hill Road).

“Wells Fargo values our role in the Kingman community, and we apologize if this is an inconvenience for any of our customers.”

Wells Fargo executives attributed the branch closings to customers’ increased preference for online and mobile banking, CNN Money reported from a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Wells Fargo is not alone in its financial struggle. Bank of America has closed 15 percent of its branches and Chase has closed 9 percent since 2012.

The bank was accused in February of harming fraud victims by closing their accounts instead of investigating criminal activity, as required by law.