The Alaska USA Federal Credit Union will be closing its office in the Sealaska Building. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Alaska USA Federal Credit Union will be closing its office in the Sealaska Building. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska USA to close only downtown branch

It may be inconvenient for some, bank says, but online banking means less need for brick-and-mortar location

A long-time bank branch in downtown Juneau will soon close.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union announced to customers this week that it will close its only downtown branch at One Sealaska Plaza on Nov. 2.

The bank has 260,000 members in Alaska. The branch is the only one of the bank’s three not located in the Mendenhall Valley.

Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations Dan McCue said there was some customer overlap with other branches and the amount of transactions at the branch have declined in recent years.

Part of the decline in customer transactions is due to technology, McCue said. More customers are choosing to do their banking online. Fewer now visit their brick-and-mortar locations.

“It’s changing all over, just the ease of use, we’re finding more and more people don’t have as many reasons to come in to the branch,” McCue said.

At the downtown bank on Tuesday it was business as usual. Customer Walter Smith exited the bank aided by a cane after making a transaction.

“I do all my banking here,” Smith said.

It would be inconvenient for him to travel to Mendenhall Valley to do his banking, Smith said. He hadn’t yet heard the branch was closing, and hopes Alaska USA opens another location downtown.

“I’d hate to see this one go,” Smith said.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union doesn’t have plans to open another branch downtown, McCue said, but they aren’t planning on closing either of the bank’s two other Juneau locations.

One Sealaska Plaza Property Manager William Andrews said Sealaska hasn’t settled new plans for the space. They’re still having conversations with Alaska USA and tenant relationships are kept confidential, Andrews said.

The bank has rented the space for at least 10 years, Andrews said, and the two parties are still talking about the bank’s plans to end their lease.

• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 and Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.

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