Westamerica Bancorp. will close its branch in Upper Lake, Calif., after a failed effort to find another financial institution to take over the branch.
The $5 billion-asset Westamerica had planned to close the Upper Lake branch earlier this year, citing its small size and low transaction volume; the branch held about $15.3 million in deposits, as of June 30. But a community protest, organized through the political advocacy site MoveOn.org, prompted regulators to look at the matter.
Westamerica was asked to delay the branch's closure six months, to give the community time to find another bank or credit union to open a branch in Upper Lake, a community of about 1,000 people in northern California.
The six-month deadline has passed, so the California Department of Business Oversight approved Westamerica's plan to close the branch on Friday. No bank or credit union has yet come forth with a plan to open an office in Upper Lake.
“It’s unfortunate the effort to find a replacement did not succeed,” Tom Dresslar, a department spokesman, said in an email. “Hopefully, the closure will not leave too large a banking services void in the community.”
Westamerica's chief financial officer, Rob Thorson, could not be reached for comment.