Businesses upset with bank closure


TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The Bank of America on Roland Avenue is the only bank on Topsail Island. It served some businesses for more than 20 years, but soon will be a thing of the past.

“I’m not mad with them, but I don’t understand what they’re thinking. They’re closing it down and there’s more people here now then they’ve ever been,” George Howard, On Shore Surf Shop owner, said.

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Mayor Doug Medlin, who also owns East Coast Sports, can not imagine the island without a bank. He believes Bank of America is no longer interested in operating in a seasonal location. The nearest bank is off the island, 15 miles away.

“Basically, if you don’t use a carrier system, then you’re talking about taking at least 45 minutes to an hour out just to go to the bank,” Medlin said.

In March, Bank of America announced it would be closing several financial centers, because of an increase in online transactions. A Bank of America spokeswoman says an ATM will remain in Surf City for transactional needs.

Medlin drops off deposits at the bank around three times a week. Now, if he and others want to keep their business at Bank of America, they’ll have quite a drive.

“Of course the closest bank of America is either Jacksonville or Wilmington. Nothing in between. So I have all ideas, probably a big percentage of them, majority of them are probably going to move their accounts,” Medlin said.

According to Medlin and Howard, more than 150 businesses will be impacted by the closure.