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Capital One's downtown branch closing as it moves customers to online banking

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BATON ROUGE – The downtown Capital One branch will close, a corporate spokesperson confirmed Wednesday, as the bank pushes its customers to the internet for regular business.

The bank started alerting customers this week through the mail of its plan to shutter the branch in downtown.

Capital One has a ground floor and basement drive-through branch at the 24-story highrise on the corner of Main Street and North 4th. Capital One also maintains offices on the 17th and 18th floors of the building, One America Place.  Only the branch is closing, the bank said. 

Customers' accounts are not affected.

“The decision to close this branch was difficult and one that our Bank leaders did not take lightly. As Capital One continues to evolve and optimize our branch network in response to changing customer preferences and to ensure we're operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, decisions are made to open, renovate, and in some instances, close or relocate branches,” a Capital One corporate spokesperson said in a statement released to WBRZ after lunch.  

While banking officials did not provide specifics, the company's 800-number advised that Capital One is “going in a more digital direction” and was pushing customers to online banking and considering closing other branches. The plan, according to those familiar with the move, is to open “cafes” - coffee and pastry shops that double as a no-frills bank.

“Our Cafés are inviting spaces where you can go to bank, get answers to your financial questions, recharge your devices, or simply connect with people. All with a handcrafted Peet’s beverage and local pastry in hand,” the bank advertises on its website.

Plans for cafes in Baton Rouge have not been made available yet.

Customers can meet with a banking representative and use an ATM at the cafes, but no loans will be administered. In addition, Capital One will no longer write home or personal loans and auto loans will only be handled through its website.

Capital One moved to its downtown regional headquarters and branch at the end of 2012 following the sale of its 440 Third Street location. In a story reported in the Business Report at the time, bank chief Ric Kearny said the bank was committed to downtown Baton Rouge.

“...We knew we wanted to stay downtown,” Kearny said at the time. “...We believe our customers and associates will enjoy its quality office space and amenities,” he said of the One America Place location.

The Third Street location became a mix of offices, apartments and a first-floor grocery store.

The real estate manager of 301 Main Street refused to comment when reached by phone. He could not provide specifics about the bank's plans for its area of the building.

Tuesday, Capital One Financial Corp. reported a 2017 4th quarter loss of $971 million.

Employees based at the downtown branch will be moved to other area locations, Capital One said. 


Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated with information after Capital One released a statement after lunch Wednesday. 


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