M&T Bank will close its Lansford office on Aug. 27.

The branch at 430 West Patterson St. will consolidate with the Tamaqua branch located at the Five Points intersection.

Employees at the Lansford branch would not comment Tuesday on the closing, but referred questions to a corporate office.

Kent Wissinger of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co. public relations office in Harrisburg cited changing dynamics in the way people bank.

"We're constantly evaluating our branches and how they're performing. The way people are banking is changing. People migrate and use other branches, they use the Internet and Web banking and they use ATMs. Dependence on branch service is down."

As a result, Wissinger said, "The Lansford branch is consolidating with the Tamaqua branch less than five miles away."

Wissinger told the TIMES NEWS that patrons with safe deposit boxes in Lansford will be given one year free at the Tamaqua location.

The Lansford office employs four full-time workers, including manager John Greybosh, and one part-time worker.

Those employees will be assimilated in the M&T network, although the exact location of the new assignments has not been announced.

"They will all retain their jobs and will be relocated to other branches in the area," said Wissinger.

The Tamaqua branch is managed by Maureen Zuber, former branch manager of the Lansford office.

The Lansford branch will close its doors at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, according to letters received by bank patrons on Tuesday. A similar notice was posted at the entrance of the Lansford branch office.

"There will be no interruption in your banking service and you'll have access to your accounts at all times," indicated the letter signed by Greybosh and Zuber.

"When you visit the Tamaqua branch at 100 East Broad St., you'll find it's a great place for all your financial needs, with friendly customer service representatives to assist you. The same people you've worked with over the years will relocate to the Tamaqua branch or other branches in our area and will continue to serve your banking needs."

The notice also states that the Tamaqua branch offers drive-up teller windows, drive-up ATM, safe deposit boxes, 24-hour night depository for business customers and an M&T Securities, Inc., registered representative to assist with investments.

M&T acquired the Lansford branch from Keystone Financial in 2000. Keystone Financial had acquired the branch from American Savings Bank in 1994.

The future of the Lansford branch site remains uncertain. The bank occupies a strategic location adjacent to the Panther Valley High School football stadium and the Lansford swimming pool.

The West Patterson Street business site has been a contributor to the local economy since the 1940s or earlier, according to Rosemary Cannon. Cannon and Grace Dunn discussed some of the earlier businesses at the location.

"Jimmy Reese's gas station and luncheonette were there in the 1940s," said Cannon. Reese then went into business with Bob Shinton. For a time the site went unused, then Lansford businessman Fred Johnson used the western end of the structure for his paint store.

A contractor reportedly used the site for a time, followed by chiropractor Joseph Hedash and later, businessman Dwight Penberth. Lansford Borough is host to two other financial institutions, First Niagara Bank, formerly Harleysville National Bank, and Bank of America.

M&T Bank, founded in 1856, is headquartered in Buffalo. M&T Bank Corporation is one of the twentieth largest commercial bank holding companies in the U.S., with over 750 branches located in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.