NEW YORK, OCT. 14 -- Dean Witter Financial Services Group said today it plans to close all 40 of the Sears Savings Bank branch offices it operates in California.
California Federal Savings and Loan Association agreed to buy deposits at 22 of the locations, accounting for $165 million of the $280 million affected.
The sale will include regular passbook, NOW and money market accounts, as well as regular and jumbo certificates of deposit.
A spokesman said other customers could either transfer their accounts to the Glendale, Calif., headquarters or to other institutions in their area.
California is the only state in which Sears Savings Bank had branches. In February, it sold 50 sites to a subsidiary of Citicorp.
Sears Savings Bank is a part of the Sears Consumer Financial Corp., which is Dean Witter Financial Services' administrative umbrella for its consumer lending, deposit taking, credit card and mortgage business.
The spokesman said the company's financial strategy is not to offer financial services through "brick-and-mortar, or remote, locations."
Sears Savings Bank's Glendale headquarters will remain open and will continue to offer most deposit products and services to individual customers, Dean Witter Financial Services said.
The office will not offer checking accounts.
Customer accounts transferred to or maintained at the Glendale office will be insured up to $100,000 by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp.
Dean Witter Financial Services Group said it will continue to provide consumer financial products and services through its nontraditional distribution channels, including the Sears Financial Network Centers, Discover Card and direct mail.
Sears Savings Bank will continue to raise institutional deposits and be a lender to residential mortgage investment portfolios, Dean Witter Financial Services Group said.