Bank of America announces plans to close Brisbane's only bank as town vows to fight closure

It recently announced plans to shut down the city's only bank for good on May 18.

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip KGO logo
Friday, March 12, 2021
Brisbane vows to fight closure of town's only bank
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Brisbane's only bank, Bank of America, is set to close for good, leaving the entire town without a bank -- or even an ATM.

BRISBANE, Calif. (KGO) -- The only bank in a quaint Bay Area city is scheduled to close its doors for good May 18. The city of Brisbane has just a population of 4,000, but says it isn't about to let Bank of America leave without a fight.

Nestled in the San Bruno Mountain, Brisbane sits isolated and is easy to miss as folks whiz down 101 towards San Francisco International Airport or into the city.

"We don't have a lot here. We don't have a pharmacy. We don't have a gas station. We don't have very many restaurants," said City Councilwoman and Chamber of Commerce CEO Madison Davis.

What she says Brisbane does have: beauty and charm.

It's a town where patriotism flies as high as a flag pole and proudly shares space with signs of diversity and inclusion -- rainbow and Black Lives Matter flags.

"Everybody knows everybody, and when you know everybody, when you grow up, they're family," said Ron Marshall of Brisbane.

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Bank of America recently announced plans to shut down the city's only bank for good on May 18.

Signs on the door indicate the closure is only temporary.

But Bank of America tells 7 On Your Side it's planning to pull out permanently and take everything with it -- including the ATM.

"Well, that doesn't make sense. I mean, this whole community here uses this all the time," said Peter Greenwood, another longtime Brisbane resident.

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Word of the closure is just slowly starting to spread. The people 7 On Your Side talked with are hoping the bank will have a change of heart.

"They should care about the community, and about what is going on in our community," Elaine Reddell said.

The bank says the trend towards online banking makes it necessary to consolidate their financial centers -- although it says the total number of branches will remain about the same.

Bank of America says there are 22 other financial centers and ATMs within a five-mile radius.

Davis recognizes the transition to mobile and online banking. But she also knows this: "Last I checked, I can't pull cash out of my phone. I still need to interact with a physical bank or ATM to do that."

She's proposing that the bank at least leave an ATM behind and has offered to find space at city hall.

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She says the bank has not responded, but 7 On your side reiterated the proposal to a bank representative who promised to pass that on to a decision maker.

Concern is particularly high for seniors who may not have the transportation to go outside their city for banking.

"It's sort of a meeting place for everyone," said Thuy Ngueyn. "There you go to the bank, you meet the clerks and all the people in Brisbane, they go there. So when you do go there, you see them."

Councilwoman Davis is calling this a David and Goliath battle, but hopes the bank will find a compromise and avoid the need for her to fire a few slingshots. We'll stay on top of this and update you with further developments.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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