MOUNT VERNON — Directions Credit Union will close its branch location on Sandusky Street in Mount Vernon as well as one in Mansfield at the end of May. The Mount Vernon branch will close May 28. The Mansfield Main Street office began reduced hours March 7 and will close May 27.
The credit union still has offices on South Diamond Street in Mansfield and West Main Street in Lexington.
In a letter to members, CEO Barry Shaner said the Mount Vernon location has “struggled to grow and membership has dwindled.” This he attributed to the number of financial institutions in Mount Vernon, noting: “We have found it to be a saturated market that provides little opportunity for enhancing the financial services available to the community.”
The location of the branch and the size of the building were also cited as factors in limiting growth, but that the growth potential if the branch was moved “was not great enough to offset the costs associated with relocating the branch.”
Four employees in the Mount Vernon office will lose their jobs. Branch Manager Diana Miller said it was a sad time for the office, as she has worked there almost 30 years.
“There are a lot of memories here,” she said. “It’s a big loss for some people. We have members who have been here for 50 years.”
The office first opened in 1937 as part of the American National Can Credit Union. In 1991 it became Flexpak (for Flexible Packaging Division), and moved to the office on Sandusky Street. It was about this time, after the Continental Can plants in Newark and Mount Vernon closed, that the credit union started serving the general public.
The next change came with the name switch to Knox County Community Credit Union, which was followed by a merger with Empire Credit Union out of Mansfield, and when Empire merged with a firm from Sylvania in 2007, the name became Directions.
But whatever the name, Shaner in his letter to customers said the credit union wants to continue to serve their needs through online banking, phone banking and shared branching or the remaining branches in Lexington and Mansfield. Essentially, all services that were available at the Sandusky Street branch will still be available.
In Mount Venon, shared branching is available at the CES Credit Union office on West Chestnut Street and on Yauger Road.
However, Miller said a lot of customers are choosing to take their business elsewhere. They seem to want a physical office to go to, she said. She didn’t know how many customers use the Mount Vernon branch.
The company said employees affected by the closing will be offered new positions or a severance package. Miller said she plans to retire and the other employees of the office will take the severance and seek new jobs, as they don’t want to commute to Lexington.