Chase Bank closing Rolling Meadows branch, catching city and customers by surprise
The apparent closure of a Chase Bank branch in downtown Rolling Meadows has caught many by surprise, from customers and city officials, to even a Chase representative and the property's new owner.
Though a letter went out last month saying the branch and drive-through at 3250 Kirchoff Road was scheduled to close by August, a bank teller told city officials it might happen as soon as Memorial Day weekend.
And though a sign at the front entrance indicates the closure is scheduled for August, the doors were already locked during bankers' hours Wednesday.
Officials at the branch couldn't be reached, but according to the letter sent to customers and city officials, the closure is the result of a business decision.
"It's unfortunate for all the Rolling Meadows customers who bank there, including the city, but we have no control when a business decision is made," Finance Director Melissa Gallagher said Wednesday. "We can't influence them to say, 'Hey, stay here.'"
But city leaders do have control over whether they'll continue to do their banking with Chase, where they've held primary city accounts for the last eight years. They already had planned to put out a general request for proposals to banks next year.
Now the local branch closure could put Chase's future business with the city in jeopardy.
"The city has always had the point of view that we like to shop and maintain business locally and support bricks and mortar, so typically we put that in our banking RFPs or any RFPs out there that we'd like a presence in the city of Rolling Meadows," Gallagher said. "A lot of things are electronic, but we like to support business and bricks and mortar, too."
The city switched banking providers from BMO Harris Bank to Chase after a similar RFP process nearly a decade ago.
"We've had a long relationship with Chase Bank," City Manager Barry Krumstok told aldermen last week. "Some of their services are not exactly the same as when we signed up with them -- definitely with their customer service. But when we do go out in 2022, that's part of what we need to look at."
After receiving the bank branch's letter last month, city officials reached out to their representative at Chase, who was unaware of the impending closure, Krumstok said.
So, too, was the property owner who just purchased the bank building parcel a month ago.
"We were sort of their wake up call, if you want to call it that, at that point in time," Krumstok said.
In the meantime, Gallagher went to the nearest branch location at 825 W. Euclid Ave. in Palatine to make introductions between bankers and her staffers who might be stopping by to make deposits.
"There's not a lot of transactions at the bank. Most are online. But we still like to know who's going to be our local bankers," Gallagher said.