Residents protest as only bank in Mississippi town set to close

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:50 AM CDT
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PICKENS, Miss. (WLBT) - BankPlus is the only bank that serves the people of Pickens, Mississippi and it’s scheduled to close on December 15.

Residents say if that happens, they will then have to travel more than 20 miles to the nearest bank.

Before the rally, dozens of people packed out the MLK Center voicing concerns on why they feel the bank should not close.

“I got three business accounts there,” said one citizen. “If the bank leaves, I’m going to have to transfer my money all the way to Durant of Canton and that’s going to cause a lot of hardship on me.”

The bank has been an anchor for the town since the year 2000. Mayor Paulette Moore says she was told the bank was closing because it’s not generating enough revenue.

She was told that Pickens only brought in 4 million dollars in revenue, which is not enough to operate in the rural area. It needs to generate 40 million dollars in revenue.

“The thing is that they made this decision without contacting me,” stated Mayor Moore. “So if you make a decision as something as huge as closing the bank, our only financial institution, and you do not contact the mayor, that’s not a good thing.”

Mayor Moore and the board of aldermen are now calling on Congressman Bennie Thompson to authorize a resolution to stop the bank from closing. She says he is currently coming up with a plan.

In a statement, BankPlus noted the decrease in business traffic and volume in Pickens.

The company saying, in part, that “it will install an Interactive Teller Machine in Pickens and that technology is in use in many of its larger markets and allows customers to conduct transactions with a live teller from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays.”

BankPlus says that will expand service to customers by 28 hours per week.

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