Home Federal Bancorp (HOME) in Nampa, Idaho, said Friday that it is closing four branches in Oregon as part of its ongoing effort to reduce overhead and improve efficiency.

The $1 billion-asset company said in a news release that the branches — two in Bend and one each in Medford and Grants Pass — would be closed be the end of February and that accounts would be shifted to nearby branches. Home Federal inherited the branches when it took over failed banks in Oregon in 2009 and 2010.

"With more clients utilizing electronic banking services it just makes sense to consolidate branches that are near one another," Len E. Williams, the company's president and chief executive said. He added that "many" of the affected employees would be given the opportunity to apply for other positions within the bank.

The moves are expected to reduce Home Federal's income in the fourth quarter by about $529,000, but ultimately lower expenses by $1.2 million a year. Through the first nine months of this year, Home Federal earned $1.6 million versus a loss of $3.3 million through the same period in 2011.

The branch closings would bring to 10 the number of branches Home Federal has shuttered since late last year. In September 2011 it said it was closing six branches in Oregon and Idaho as part of a broad restructuring that included the refinancing of debt and the shifting of its mortgage origination to a third party. Those moves were expected to save the company $3.6 million annually.

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