Skowhegan Savings Bank is closing four branches and will replace them with improved electronic banking systems at three other locations.

The company, an independent mutual savings bank, expects the four locations – one each in Skowhegan, Stratton, Phillips and Pittsfield – to be closed by Jan. 19.

Skowhegan Savings President John Witherspoon said these locations were selected because more people are using electronic or mobile banking. In a sign of the times, he said, the four branches are seeing less traffic than they used to.

“The transaction activity has decreased consistently over the last four to five years,” Witherspoon said.

The branches that will close are 124 Main St. in Phillips; 110 Hunnewell Ave. in Pittsfield; 9 School St. in Stratton; and 78 Waterville Road in Skowhegan. Witherspoon said all the employees at those branches have been offered positions at other nearby locations.

To aid customers, Skowhegan Savings is upgrading to “Smart” ATMs in Phillips, Stratton and Skowhegan. Smart ATMs can conduct many of the transactions tellers usually take care of, including accepting check deposits.

Over the next several months, bank staff will work with customers to familiarize them with these services. Witherspoon said these new ATMs have scanners that let customers scan items such as checks electronically. The closing Skowhegan and Stratton branches already have these ATMs, Witherspoon said, and the Phillips one is being installed.

The closures come after a year of analysis. Once the branches are closed, the company will have 11 remaining branches, Witherspoon said, and there are no plans to close other branches. Neither are there plans to open new branches anytime soon, although the company is always looking at opportunities for growth, he said.

Colin Ellis can be contacted at 861-9253 or at:

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