Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

June 23, 2014

Iowa State's east motor bank to close


Knoxville — Customer preferences toward technology has prompted the Iowa State Savings Bank to plan the closure of their drive-up bank at Fifth and Main Streets in Knoxville.  Closing the banking location known locally as “The East Motor Bank” ends nearly 40-years of teller services from that location as electronic methods become preferred by the bank’s customers.   The closure is scheduled for September 26, 2014.

“We continue to see a remarkable shift from in-person banking transactions toward electronic banking, payment and deposit systems” said Iowa State Savings Bank CEO Stuart Job.   “Automated payroll, debit cards, 24/7 mobile and internet banking have all made banking easier for today’s customers and diminished the need to have as many traditional branches.”  Job also said that this shift is not unique to the Iowa State Savings bank, but is a national trend.  

Bank-wide there has been remarkable growth in the number of Iowa State Savings Bank customers, however, drive through traffic at the East Branch is less than half what it was just a decade ago.  The East motor Bank opened in 1976 as a service to the bank’s customers, particularly those commuting to the new 3M plant, the new Hormel plant as well as Pella factories.  These customers needed a convenient location to make payroll deposits, a task that is now done with automated systems.  Job said, “In 1976 a drive-through bank was a fairly novel concept.  That was considered pretty high-tech back then.”

While Job praises new technologies for what they can offer, he quickly acknowledges they are not the end-all.  “Person-to-person banking is still critical to building and maintaining trusted relationships with our customers.   It is very important to our customers to know who they are dealing with and who is making decisions that affect them.”   The bank has three other “brick and mortar” locations in Knoxville and Melcher to serve its customers.

Iowa State Savings Bank customers continue to have plenty of options for conducting their business.  In addition to the electronic methods and the main office, the bank has a two-lane drive-up branch on Highway 14, a drive though ATM at that location, a branch and ATM in Melcher, as well as newly updated Internet Banking and mobile phone banking.   “Our customers have much better access to their information and banking services than what was ever dreamed of when the East Bank was opened in 1976.” stated Job.

Job summarized the bank’s evolution with new technologies, “We are constantly evaluating new ways to enhance our customer’s banking experience.  Employing new technologies while still providing personalized customer service is a balancing act I think the Iowa State Savings Bank has done very well over the past 111 years.”