FirstBank Holding in Lakewood, Colo., will close a dozen branches inside Colorado grocery stores.

The dozen branches make less strategic sense because online banking has risen in popularity and the closures will help the bank cut expenses, according to an online report published by the Northern Colorado Business Report Tuesday. The branches are inside stores such as Safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons.

Employees at the branches slated for closure will be moved to other locations, the business newspaper said. The $12.1 billion-asset FirstBank plans to open traditional branches in Aurora and Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Chandler, Ariz., according to the publication.

FirstBank, which started operating grocery store branches in 1989, has more than 125 branches in Colorado, Arizona and California.

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