More than half of all Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. branches will close after it merges into WSFS Financial Corp.
Wilmington-based WSFS (NASDAQ: WSFS) identified the 34 locations in a recent regulatory filing, including 22 of 41 branches from Bryn Mawr subsidiary Bryn Mawr Tust and 12 of the 89 WSFS Bank locations. The shuttered branches include nine each in Delaware and Montgomery counties, five each in Philadelphia and Chester counties, one in Bucks County, four in the state of Delaware and one in South Jersey. The combined bank would move from 130 branches to 96.
When the $976 million deal was announced last month, WSFS said it would close 40 branches, most likely after the deal closes in the fourth quarter and when the two banks merge computer systems and brands in the first quarter of 2022. WSFS Chief Financial Officer Dominic Canuso said the bank expects to close another six locations within the next two years, which would give the combined entity 90 retail locations.
Bryn Mawr helped that process a bit by closing two locations on its own that were not included in the WSFS SEC filing — one in Roxborough and another in Hershey that it inherited from its $18.3 million acquisition of the private wealth management group at the Hershey Trust Co. in 2011. That would bring the branch total down to 94 and would leave WSFS with only four more cuts to reach its goal.
Neither Bryn Mawr executives nor Canuso would explain why the Hershey location was closing. Hershey is sort of on an island, as Bryn Mawr’s other 40 locations are situated in southeast Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware. The branch itself also only has a little less than $20 million in deposits, about a fifth of the $100 million that most banks would consider to be a desirable number.
Canuso said 70% of the closures were because of their close proximity to another location. For example, there are 14 ZIP codes in southeastern Pennsylvania where both banks have branches. The remainder will be part of WSFS’s focus on digitalization at a time when the pace of branch consolidation has accelerated industrywide due to the pandemic.
Of the 34 branches being shuttered, 22 are within two miles or less of another location operated by the combined bank — 10 of those being less than a mile. Only four are more than three miles from another branch.
“Most are within two miles or a seven-minute drive from another branch,” Canuso said. “The other ones are part of a holistic review. It used to be that you needed a branch where customers lived, worked and played. Now you only need to have one in one of those three because they use the phone to bank like people use Amazon to shop or GrubHub to eat.”
WSFS decided to close Bryn Mawr’s branch in the city of Chester, as well as another one nearby in Chester Heights. Long-struggling Chester now only has two bank branches within the city limits — one each from Wells Fargo Bank and TD Bank. But the Bryn Mawr Trust location only had about $18 million in deposits and Canuso said customers from Chester will only have to travel less than two miles to the nearest branch in Eddystone.
“It’s located in a large shopping center with a drive thru and easy access to public transportation,” Canuso said.
WSFS also closed all nine Bryn Mawr Trust limited-service branches situated in retirement communities. Only one of those locations, the Shannondell retirement community in Oaks, has more than $10 million in deposits. Canuso said each of those sites are within two miles of another branch.
Those locations have limited hours and only require the equivalent of one and a half employees to staff, as opposed to five in a normal branch. That means there will be fewer displaced workers for which WSFS will need to find jobs at other locations. Canuso said the goal is still to find jobs for every employee that wants one.
As it stands now, WSFS would have 54 branches in southeastern Pennsylvania after the consolidation, including 13 in Philadelphia, 16 in Montgomery County, 14 in Delaware County, nine in Chester County and three in Bucks County.
WSFS has not offered specifics on cost savings from the branch consolidation. It will endure $127 million in pre-tax, one-time merger-related expenses but says it will recoup that via about $73 million of annual cost savings, which represent 45% of Bryn Mawr’s operating expenses based on consensus street estimates.
Below is a list of all affected branches with the bank operating the location in parentheses. Information on the nearest branches to those closing can be found here.
* = limited service branch
- 20 Woodside Road, Ardmore (WSFS)
- 599 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell (WSFS)
- 12 E Ridge Pike, Conshohocken (WSFS)
- 110 Town Square Place, King Of Prussia (WSFS)
- 901 Montgomery Ave., Narberth (WSFS)
- 10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon (Bryn Mawr*)
- 601 North Ithan Ave., Bryn Mawr (Bryn Mawr*)
- 1400 Waverly Road, Gladwyne (Bryn Mawr*)
- 33 W Ridge Pike, Limerick (Bryn Mawr)
- 1201 E Lancaster Ave., Downingtown (WSFS)
- 106 E Street Road, Kennett Square (Bryn Mawr*)
- 1 West Lancaster Ave., Paoli (WSFS)
- 849 Paoli Pike, West Chester (Bryn Mawr)
- 1615 East Boot Road, West Chester (Bryn Mawr*)
- 23 East Fifth St., Chester (Bryn Mawr)
- Route 1 And Stoney Bank Road, Chester Heights (Bryn Mawr)
- 18 W Eagle Road, Havertown (Bryn Mawr)
- 22 West State St., Media (Bryn Mawr)
- 330 Dartmouth Ave., Swarthmore (Bryn Mawr)
- 404 Cheswick Place, Bryn Mawr (Bryn Mawr*)
- 3300 Darby Road, Haverford (Bryn Mawr*)
- 11 Martins Run, Media (Bryn Mawr*)
- 535 Gradyville Road, Newtown Square (Bryn Mawr*)
- 1903 Street Road, Bensalem (WSFS)
- 1230 Walnut St., Philadelphia (Bryn Mawr)
- 1650 Grant Ave., Philadelphia (Bryn Mawr)
- 6331 Castor Ave., Philadelphia (Bryn Mawr)
- 7622 City Line Ave., Philadelphia (WSFS)
- 10th & Catharine streets, Philadelphia (WSFS)
- 2 Greenville Crossing, Greenville, Delaware (Bryn Mawr)
- 2400 Peoples Plaza, Newark, Delaware (Bryn Mawr)
- 22820 Sussex Highway, Sussex Common Shop, Seaford, Delaware (WSFS)
- 38394 Dupont Boulevard-Strawberry Ctr #2, Selbyville, Delaware (WSFS)
- 1651 Blackwood Clementon Road, Blackwood, New Jersey (Bryn Mawr)
*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal
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