NYSSA – Nyssa’s lone brick-and-mortar banking option, the U.S. Bank branch located at 500 Main St., is scheduled to close Jan. 19, 2022, leaving local businesses in the lurch. 

“Customers’ banking preferences and behaviors are changing, including a rapid migration toward digital and mobile banking platforms, and a desire for greater simplicity,” said Jennifer Fredrick, assistant vice president and communications manager at U.S. Bank. “As we evolve along with our customers, we are reevaluating our physical footprint, and in some instances, consolidating branch locations in select markets.”

Umpqua Bank closed its Nyssa location in 2019.

Nyssa City Manager Jim Maret said that he was “very disappointed” that U.S. Bank had decided to leave town. 

“With all the businesses that we have that do deposits and need change, and with the general population, a lot of the elderly and stuff that don’t drive, we have to have a bank in town,” he said.

Among issues Maret highlighted as likely to emerge from the bank’s closure are problems that will affect business, like the difficulty of making change and the inconvenience of driving to Vale, Parma, or Ontario to make deposits. 

“It’s necessary to have a bank to take care of the finances for each business,” Maret said. “It’s more attractive for businesses to come too where there’s a bank. It’s imperative that we have a bank.”

Rich Tate, corporate spokesperson for M&W Markets, which has a location in Nyssa, agreed that a bank is necessary.

“The Nyssa branch closure puts stress on the people of Nyssa, and local businesses, including our store,” he said. “Community members will likely look to M&W Markets for more of their check cashing needs, and we are happy to support the community as best we can, but we are not a bank.”

Maret said that he is actively “bank shopping” to coax another bank to the city. 

“They have to see an opportunity here that they wouldn’t have in another town,” he said. “I’m still kind of rolling through the process, but I’m working as hard as I can to get another bank here.”

“We hope that another bank will step up and find value in serving the community when U.S. Bank closes,” said Tate. “It’s sad to see U.S. Bank pulling out of small communities. We need business who believe in our small communities and see opportunities rather than liabilities in them.”

Fredrick did not respond to questions about how many employees are being laid off or transferred due to the branch’s closure. 

“We are proud of our history in eastern Oregon and the relationship we have with our customers, employees and the local community, and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers in the area through our other locations, including the Parma, Ontario and Vale branches,” she said.

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.

EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM - Available for $5 a month. Subscribe to the digital service of the Enterprise and get the very best in local journalism. We report with care, attention to accuracy, and an unwavering devotion to fairness. Get the kind of news you’ve been looking for - day in and day out from the Enterprise.