Summit Hill will soon become Carbon County's largest community without a bank.

First Niagara will be closing its Summit Hill branch, located at 2 East Ludlow St., on Friday, Dec. 28.

It is advising its customers that accounts will transfer to the Lansford branch of the bank, located at 13 W. Ridge St.

The closing of the bank has been anticipated for some time by local residents.

Late last year, First Niagara Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Sales Manager Joseph Tedesco announced the branch would be closing in early 2012.

First Niagara, besides having a branch in Lansford, also has branches in Mahoning Township, Palmerton, Slatington, and Walnutport. All the branches had been former Harleysville Banks. First Niagara, based near Buffalo, N.Y., acquired Harleysville National Corporation in March 2010.

All 83 of Harleysville's branch locations in Eastern and Southeastern Pa. were converted into First Niagara Banks on April 12, 2010.

There has been a bank located in Summit Hill for generations.

At one time, the community bank was known as the Summit Hill Trust Company. Located where the present First Niagara Bank exists, Summit Hill Trust Company had been established in on Dec. 19, 1919. It survived the Great Depression and existed in the community until June 1, 1992 when it was acquired by Harleysville National Bank.

First Niagara has advised its customers in a letter, "If you have a safe deposit box at this branch, we will transfer your safe deposit box, safely and securely, to the Lansford branch...on or about Dec. 6, 2012.

"If your box contains any fragile items, that you would feel more comfortable moving yourself, please come in and remove them from your box by Nov. 30, 2012. You can bring them to the Lansford location on or after Dec. 10, 2012 and place them in your box."

The letter is signed by Tedesco.