By Jane Bartnett
Wells Fargo Bank will close its Siesta Key branch at 5810 Midnight Pass Road on Nov. 18, 2020. In a statement released to the Siesta Sand by Jacob Jordan, a Wells Fargo corporate communications spokesman for the Florida and Southeast Region, he stated that “we will continue to serve customers in nearby branches and through WellsFargo.com and mobile banking. This is not a decision we take lightly.”
Responding to this newspaper’s request for information on the closing of the branch, Jacob stated in an email: “We continue to evaluate our branch network and base our distribution strategy on customer trends, market factors and economic changes. While branches are important in serving our customers’ needs, customers have more ways than ever to bank and digital usage continues to increase.”
Although the Wells Fargo Siesta Key branch office has been closed during the pandemic, customers have had access to the bank’s ATM machine. Signs posted on the bank’s front door state, “This Branch is Closing. On Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm, this branch and drive up will close permanently. We’ve moved to a nearby branch.” Customers are directed to visit the Wells Fargo Landings’ branch at 4794 South Tamiami Trail. Phone: 941-961-1280. Siesta Sand’s questions regarding the future of the Wells Fargo Siesta Key branch property were not answered.
The closing of the Siesta Key Wells Fargo branch will leave residents and visitors with fewer banking options on the island. The full-service SunTrust branch at 5035 Ocean Boulevard, and PNC Bank’s ATM at 5140 Ocean Boulevard remain.
Nationwide, the number of physical bank branches that serve local communities have been shrinking. Mergers, the growing use of mobile banking and branch closings related to Covid-19 are to blame, experts say. American Banker Magazine reported that during the seven-year period between 2010-2017, Florida witnessed a 40% decline in the number of banks. According to a S&P Global Marketing Intelligence report in 2020, “Florida like most of the nation, saw more branch closures than openings in the first quarter to March 27. During that time, 26 bank branches were closed in the state, while only 14 were opened.”
For residents and visitors, banking options off the island are more plentiful. Although many banks now require an appointment to enter the building to interact with a banking representative, visiting an ATM machine can still be done without an appointment or any advance notice.
According to an informal on-line study conducted by the Siesta Sand, national and regional banks within a short driving distance from Siesta Key include:
- Bank of America, 6525 South Tamiami Trail, Gulf Gate. ATM. In-person appointments: Monday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm. Phone: 941-921-7633.
- Chase Bank, 3511 Clark Road, Gulf Gate Estates. ATM. Lobby hours: Monday -Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Saturday, 9 am – 2:00 pm. Drive-up banking hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Saturday, 9 am – 2:00 pm. Phone: 941-926-3051.
- Fifth Third Bank, 6620 South Tamiami Trail at Stickney Point. ATM. Branch lobby office is open Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 5 pm. Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. Saturday, 9 am- Noon. Drive through banking: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday- Friday, and Saturday, 9 am – noon. Phone: 941-925-8543.
- Liberty Savings Bank, 2323 Stickney Point Road. ATM. Lobby banking and drive-through banking by appointment: Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm. Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. Saturday, 9 am-noon. Drive-through banking: Monday-Thursday, 8 am – 5 pm. Friday, 8 am – 6 pm. Saturday, 9 am – noon. Phone: 941- 927- 8293.
- Liberty Savings Bank, 8383 South Tamiami Trail, Square South. ATM. Schedule an appointment for phone, drive-through banking and account services: Monday-Thursday, 8 am – 4 pm. Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. Phone: 941- 927- 3629.
- PNC Bank, 3500 South Osprey Avenue at Siesta Drive. ATM. Drive-through banking: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. In person banking by appointment, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5pm. www.pnc.com/scheduleappointment. Phone: 941-953-3170.
- Regions Bank, 2353 Stickney Point Road, Gulf Gate Branch. ATM. Fullservice bank. Lobby hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm and Fridays, 9 am – 5 pm. Drive-through banking, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. Phone: 800- 734- 4667.
- Regions Bank, 4034 South Tamiami Trail, Southgate Sarasota Branch. ATM. Full-service bank. Lobby hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm and Saturday, 9 am – Noon. Drive-through banking, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm and Saturday, 9 am – Noon. Phone: 800-734-4667.
- Synovus Bank, 8444 South Tamiami Trail. ATM. In person banking with scheduled appointments. Monday-Friday, 9 am – 4pm. Phone: 941-923-4822