Univest in Pennsylvania to shutter a fifth of its branches

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Univest Financial in Souderton, Pa., is planning to close a fifth of its branches.

The $6.4 billion-asset company said in a press release Monday that it will shutter eight locations. The move is expected to save Univest $2.4 million annually.

Univest said it will incur $1.7 million in one-time expenses tied to the closures.

Four of the branches will be closed on Jan. 29. The rest will close on June 30.

“COVID-19 has further reduced in-person transaction volumes across the industry while investments in digital capabilities continue to accelerate and are viewed as required functionality by customers,” Univest said in its release.

Financial center transactions have declined 21% at Univest in the last year. The company said that 41% of its service center customer contact takes place through its chat function.

Univest has opened 257 deposit accounts since July 17 on its OpenAnywhere platform without marketing the service. The company plans to launch a person-to-person payment mechanism similar to Venmo next month.

"We believe that it is critical to continue to address the trend in customer preference by serving customers when and how they choose, while also driving efficiencies in operations,” Jeffrey Schweitzer, Univest’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“We are striving to create a common and consistent customer experience, whether the interaction is in person, through digital channels or telephonically,” Schweitzer added.

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