Residents and merchants of the small town of Occoquan spent last week saying goodbye to their generations-old bank that closed its doors for the last time at 2 p.m. Friday.
"It's been very sweet and sad," said teller Eva Haas, who has worked in the Bank of Virginia Occoquan branch for eight years. "They've been coming in all week to say goodbye. There are a lot of nice people in this community."
The bank customers had fought hard to keep their bank, signing petitions, holding demonstrations and vowing to withdraw their accounts. But Bank of Virginia officials said the branch in Occoquan, population 241, was not profitable enough to keep open. They are merging it with a branch in the nearby community of Marumsco, said bank Senior Vice President Alexander T. Berry.
Haas, who was scheduled to start work at the Marumsco branch Monday morning, said several dozen residents closed their accounts last week in retaliation. But she said many others are simply resigning themselves to the move and will do their banking at Marumsco.
State Del. David G. Brickley (D-51st District), said he led a small group of citizens to the bank's Richmond headquarters last week. The group asked the bank remain open for another six months so residents could drum up enough business to make it profitable.