Columbia St. Capital One slated for closure | Drive-up, Austin Street branch to remain in service

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Local Capital One customers recently learned, through a letter from the company dated July 2, that the branch located at 346 Columbia St. in Bogalusa will be closing its doors Oct. 5.

The closure, bank spokesman Steven Thorpe said, will not have an affect on customer accounts.

“They will continue to enjoy the same service and convenience they’ve come to expect,” he said, adding that the bank will continue to operate the drive-up at the Columbia Street branch, as well as the Northside branch located at 400 Austin St.

Bogalusa Main Street Manager Robin Day said she is sorry to hear the bank will be moving out of its downtown location. However, she said she will maintain a positive attitude about the situation and continue to work on “making Columbia Street better.”

“We don’t need another empty building, but it is what it is,” she said. “And we’re just going to have to move forward, pick up the pieces and do the best that we can.”

Day said she found out about the planned branch closure just as she was stepping into her new position. Though the news came as a shock, she said she received support from Human Resources Director Sandy Bloom and Mayor Charles Mizell.

“Sandy Bloom and the mayor, being the cheerleaders for downtown that they are, were quick to say, ‘We can overcome this. We can take this as a positive. Let’s not be negative about it, and let’s just think of the future for Columbia Street and work with Capital One and get a solution and not create a problem,’” she said. “So that’s what we’re doing, looking for a solution and not looking at it as a problem.”

While the exact details have yet to be worked out, Day said she wants to see another business fill the space that will be vacated by Capital One.

“There’s no specific plan at this time,” she said. “We’re wide open to work with them and do whatever we need to get done.”

In early June, the bank notified the seven associates in that office that the branch would be closed in early October, Thorpe said.

“Our goal in notifying affected associates well in advance is to give them ample opportunity to post for other jobs within Capital One, including other branches in the region, or prepare to seek other employment,” he said.

Capital One regularly reviews its business operations “to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible, while continuing to provide high quality products and service to our customers,” and “that staff structure is aligned to meet the needs of the business,” Thorpe said. It was during the course of that review that the decision was made to close the Columbia Street branch.

“This is a difficult decision and one that Capital One leaders do not take lightly, but the changes will not impact customer accounts or service in any way,” he said.