Santander Bank will close Chilmark branch, sell building

Santander Bank branch on South Road in Chilmark. — Photo by Nelson Sigelman

Santander Bank will close its Chilmark branch office on South Road on May 29 and place the property on the market.

“We will be marketing the property for sale,” a spokesman told The Times. The property sits on less than one acre of land and is assessed at $576,800 and is located directly across from the Chilmark Community Center.

The bank described the action as a “consolidation” with its branch in the Triangle business district of Edgartown, 16 miles away.

“We’re writing to let you know that at 3 pm, on 5/29/2015, Santander will consolidate our Chilmark branch at 517 South Road, Chilmark, into our Triangle branch,” Brian Azar, a Santander region president, said in a letter to bank customers dated Feb. 27.

“On 5/30/2015, the Triangle branch will be your new branch,” Mr. Azar wrote. “No action is necessary on your part.”

The bank has other branches in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, as well as its main location in Vineyard Haven.

The letter sent to customers did not provide any reason for the decision to close the Chilmark branch, but a Santander spokesman said the decision followed a review of all bank branches.

“We regularly review our branch network and pattern of our customers,” the spokesman said. “As a result we make changes to ensure that we are meeting customer needs while considering how and where we have opportunities to make investments to grow our business.”

The bank employs three people at the Chilmark branch.

“We will do our best to offer employees in good standing a comparable position within a reasonable distance,” the spokesman said. The spokesman said those who cannot be relocated will be offered a severance package.

Based in Spain, Banco Santander is one of the world’s largest banks, with 102 million customers, according to company documents. Santander employees 9,703 people in the United States.

Banco Santander purchased troubled Sovereign Bank in 2009, in the aftermath of the crisis that struck financial markets in the United States and around the world. In 2013, the bank changed branding in its more than 700 U.S. branches from Sovereign to Santander.