Charter Oak will close a Groton branch in November

Groton — Charter Oak Federal Credit Union will be closing its 625 Long Hill Road branch by the end of November, Brian Orenstein, president and chief executive officer of the credit union, said Wednesday.

The closure will come after Thanksgiving, when Charter Oak’s lease on the property expires, Orenstein said.

With the lease expiring, a modern online banking system in place, and branch traffic in general having decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic, “It made no sense to operate this branch,” he said. -he declares. “We apologize to those who will be inconvenienced. We encourage them to visit one of our other branches. We can also manage all their transactions online or by phone.

Waterford-based Charter Oak has branches at 32 Chicago Ave., Groton, about five minutes from the Long Hill Road branch, and 4 Hendel Drive in the Mystic section of Stonington, about eight minutes away, according to Orenstein.

He said customers at the Long Hill Road branch were told in mid-June of Charter Oak’s plans to close the branch. He said the four branch employees will be offered jobs at other branches.

“Finding staff is difficult,” Orenstein said. “We will extend the opening hours of the two neighboring branches when this one closes.”

The closure of the Long Hill Road branch will leave Charter Oak with 15 branches in New London and Windham counties, most of any credit union or bank operating in that area, Orenstein said.

Charter Oak launched its Alkami online banking system in March 2020 just as COVID-19 was beginning to take its toll. Orenstein said the system has been well received by credit union members.

“Most of our transactions take place online,” he said.

The Long Hill Road branch comprises 12,000 square feet of space over two floors, making it “far too large” for Charter Oak’s needs, Orenstein said. “The last time we renewed our lease was in 2012. At the time, who knew what 2022 would look like? »

Most Charter Oak branches are around 3,000 square feet, he said.

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