WALLACE, Idaho — A new year usually means new beginnings, but for the town of Wallace its chapter with the only bank in town is expected to come to an end early next year.
Account holders with the U.S. Bank branch in Wallace received a letter in early October announcing the branch's closure on Jan. 27, 2022. City of Wallace Mayor Lynn Mogensen said she felt devastation while reading her letter.
"How welcoming is it to come into a town and not have any money and not be able to find an ATM?" Mogensen said.
She's not the only one upset by the news. Wallace City Council President Dean Cooper has several businesses in the community, including co-ownership of the Wallace Brewing Company.
"Right away, you go to the big picture: what the impact's going to be on the town. You know, the financial institution is the anchor no matter what. All of the businesses and people in town are relying on that, especially when we're down to one bank,” Cooper said.
One particular worry Wallace Chamber of Commerce Coordinator David Copeland has is the distance to the nearest U.S. Bank branch in nearby Pinehurst, especially with the town's elderly population.
"An old person traveling on a highway who needs to get their money out of the bank and can't do it, they have to do it in the winter time and they wreck their car on an icy road," he said.
At this time, city leaders and community members are working to either try to convince U.S. Bank to stay in Wallace or find a new one.
“Hopefully they'll reconsider, but we're also checking our other avenues because if they don't stay then…we want to have a bank in Wallace," Mayor Mogensen said.
"This is not a town that rolls over when something like this happens," Cooper added.
KREM 2 News reached out to U.S. Bank to confirm the closure. According to the company, customers' banking methods have changed with many turning to digital and mobile banking. U.S. Bank officials said they're re-evaluating their facilities and consolidating some of their branches.