Since BMO Financial Group announced it would acquire M&I Bank parent Marshall & Ilsley Corp. in December 2010, leaders have anticipated some branch closures, said Jim Kappel, vice president and head of media relations at BMO Harris.
The deciding factors for the closures were ease of access, location, facility cost, the overall performance of the branch, the local market and the impact from local leadership.
“The reason for the closings, it’s directly related to where we have branches really overlapping other branch markets,” Kappel said. “Sometimes they’re even within one block of each other.”
The other branch closures include five in Indiana, one in Illinois and one in Kansas. Wisconsin was heavily affected because it had such a large M&I and Harris presence. Of the closures, 21 branches are former Harris locations and three are M&I.
BMO has 74 branches in the Greater Milwaukee area and more than 660 nationwide. The Milwaukee area closures are: 7955 State Road 60 in Cedarburg, 5400 West Forest Home Ave. in Milwaukee, 1000 N. Water St. in Milwaukee, S63W13510 Janesville Road in Muskego, 14000 W. National Ave. in New Berlin, 585 Ryan St. in Pewaukee, 524 E. Green Bay Ave. in Saukville and 1040 N. Main St. in Sheboygan Falls.
Employees were informed of the closures, which will take place by early October, last week. The company has a transition plan in place for affected employees.
“There’s approximately 130 people who are affected by this; However, when we have closed branches before in the past, more than 80 percent of affected employees have found new positions within the bank,” Kappel said. “We currently have more than 600 open positions within the bank itself and as we look for opportunities for employees, they can also apply to one of those open positions we already have.”
BMO is also contacting customers to let them know about the changes and direct them to another nearby branch.