BAC Bank closed its Discovery Bay branch last month after 34 years in business.
Senior Vice President and Retail Banking Officer Josh Hill said the move came when the branch’s landlords at the Sandy Cove Shopping Center asked BAC to temporarily relocate to accommodate some renovation and expansion work for the neighboring business, Starbucks.
“We took some time to explore the cost of that and what it would look like, so we thought ‘What if we took the opportunity to relocate and have that be our permanent location,’” Hill said. “The more we researched and looked into it, the costs were sky high to move permanently or temporarily, and then we started looking at our Discovery Bay clients, and how many of them do their transactions in Brentwood, how many do their banking mobile-y, and looked at how badly leaving would hurt customers, and what that would look like.”
Hill said after careful consideration of the impacts on the 525 Discovery Bay households that bank with them, BAC began the process of closing the branch. Hill noted there are two BAC locations in Brentwood, one at 2251 Balfour Road near Highway 4 and one downtown at 740 First St., able to serve customers, as well as online – or mobile – banking options.
There is even drive-through banking in Brentwood, an option that was not available in Discovery Bay. All the employees from the Discovery Bay location were transferred to the two Brentwood locations, so Discovery Bay customers will still see familiar faces when they go to do their banking.
Hill said BAC did its best to reach all customers through mailings and in-branch signs starting last September, though some did go to social media to complain of the branch’s “disappearance” after its last day on Feb. 17. Despite some difficulties in the transition, Hill said it went well, overall.
“I think what’s important is that we really wanted to take care and do the right thing for the customers in the community and our employees,” he said.
BAC — or Bank of Agriculture and Commerce — was founded in Brentwood in 1965. With eight branches and 115 employees, the small bank is still committed to its community, and has donated almost $40,000 to local programs since 2020, including the Discovery Bay Lions Club, Food Bank of Contra Costa, The Hope House, Monument Crisis Center and Freedom House, among others, officials said. BAC also sponsors financial literacy classes given by the Banzai Foundation at local schools.
Contra Costa County Principal Planner Will Nelson said Starbucks did submit an application in 2020. It has not been denied, and the county is waiting for revised plans and additional materials from the applicant. The Press was not able to reach a Starbucks corporate spokesman in time for publication.
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