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Update on Hancock Whitney branch closing in Picayune

The decision to close the north branch of Hancock Whitney in Picayune was made due to a lack of traffic and the push for contactless transactions, according to written statements submitted to the Item by the company’s senior communications officer.

Paul Maxwell, the company’s vice president and senior communications officer, said in the written response that foot traffic in branches industry-wide has declined. That fact combined with the popularity of debit cards, credit cards and other forms of touch less transactions has caused people to use digital banking options instead of going into a branch.

“We are shifting some of our investments from physical facilities to enhancing our digital capabilities,” Maxwell said in the statement.

The choice to close the north branch in Picayune, as well as others in the company, was made after reviewing several factors.

“We reviewed the clients, transactions, growth and many other factors to ensure we sleeted the financial centers for consolidation that will create the least amount of client and community disruption,” Maxwell said in the statement.

As for the staff who currently work at that branch, Maxwell gave the following explanation, “Our staffing levels have been thin over the past year, and many of these associates will be able to move to nearby branches in similar roles. One hundred percent of the associates in closing financial centers will be offered an opportunity to post for an open position within the remaining financial centers and across the bank. Many of the financial centers closing are in areas where we also have ample job opportunities in corporate facilities. Right now is a particularly good time to make the decision because it provides the best opportunity for our team members to have another position in either location or in a new career in one of our corporate areas.”

According to previous coverage, the branch will close on Oct. 8, 2021, according to a letter sent out to customers dated July 8, 2021.

“Deposit accounts will transfer to our Picayune Southside Financial Center at 229 Memorial Blvd., Picayune,” the letter states.

Customers who have safe deposit boxes at the north branch will receive additional information soon.

“If clients have questions about what to do, we encourage them to talk with their local bankers or call us at our contact center at 1-888-448-8812 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.