Sunflower Bank to close branch at 21st and Tyler

01/12/2012 5:00 AM

01/12/2012 6:19 AM

Sunflower Bank will close its west-side branch in June, an official of the Salina-based bank said Wednesday.

The branch, at 8760 W. 21st St., is the bank’s only Wichita branch located in a strip center. Sunflower also operates branches at 4101 E. Harry, 2073 N. Webb Road and 201 N. Main.

Phyllis Pickel, Sunflower executive vice president in Salina, said a combination of factors – including visibility and accessibility – prompted the decision to close the branch.

“We definitely have been looking for some time for another location out there, but we weren’t able to find one that will work for us,” she said.

She said customers of the branch were notified last week of the branch’s pending closure. Without the branch, Pickel said, customers will still have access to the bank’s other Wichita locations, ATMs and online banking.

“There’s lots of opportunities for them to continue to bank with us,”

Employees at the branch will have an opportunity to work at another Sunflower location, Pickel said.

“We’re really proud of the professionals that work there, and we have many positions available,” she said. “We employ over 500 people. There’s new opportunities every day. There will be opportunities for them.”

The $1.7 billion-asset bank operates 24 full-service branches in Kansas, six in Colorado and one in Missouri.

The west Wichita branch was opened by Sunflower in June 1999. It is located at the end of a strip center but has a drive-through.

“Unfortunately the location does not allow us to provide the level of service we’re committed to providing our customers,” Pickel said.

According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data, the branch had $14.5 million in assets as of June 30, 2010. Among the 10 banks operating in the 67205 ZIP code, the branch ranks ninth, with 3.14 percent market share.

By contrast, Intrust Bank, which ranks first in deposits in the ZIP code with two branches, has $132.9 million in deposits and 28.78 percent market share.

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