Umpqua to close 2 Vancouver branches

Bank says sites became duplicative after Sterling deal

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

Published:

 

Portland-based Umpqua Bank said Monday it will close two Vancouver branches this fall as part of a consolidation triggered by its acquisition in April of the Spokane-based Sterling Bank.

The decision closes Umpqua branches that became duplicative when the bank acquired nearby Sterling branches.

An Umpqua spokeswoman said the bank will close its Evergreen Square Branch, 16409 S.E. First St., and consolidate it into the former Sterling branch at Fisher’s Landing, 1408 S.E. 164th Ave. It also will close its Mill Plain location, 12019 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., and consolidate those operations into the former Sterling Cascade Park West branch, 11515 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd.

The two Vancouver branches are expected to close in November. That will leave Umpqua with 11 branches, which it calls stores, in Clark County.

In total, Umpqua said it would close 27 branches — 13 in Washington and seven each in Oregon and California — as part of its branch consolidation. Store consolidations will begin in September and continue through December.

The locations of branches to be closed were not listed in a news release issued by the bank. Umpqua said it has not ruled out further closures in 2015.

‘Seamless’ goal

Umpqua’s employees, whom it calls associates, in the affected branches were notified about a week and a half ago about the branch closures, said Leah Almeling, spokeswoman for Umpqua.

The bank currently has 200 open positions systemwide and will be working actively to help employees find jobs in a neighboring branches or elsewhere at Umpqua, she said in an email. The bank has opened career centers in Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Roseburg, Ore., to help affected employees find job opportunities.

“Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for customers and associates,” Almeling said.

Umpqua Holdings Corp. and Sterling Financial Corp., corporate parents of the two banks, announced Umpqua’s acquisition of Sterling in September and completed the deal in April. Umpqua paid almost $2 billion in stock to Sterling shareholders.

The merged assets gave Umpqua about $22 billion in assets and 394 branches and 5,000 employees spread across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada.