During the 10 months of the pandemic, banking has been one of many challenges for most Southern Nevada residents.
In the hot summer you could see customers queued in long lines in parking lots outside offices. At times, branches were barricaded with an appointments-only environment and guards at the entrances.
Sometimes branches strictly operated by appointment or often handled nearly all business through often long drive-up lanes. Both methods still are preferred at many facilities.
Several major banking operations had to close offices either temporarily or long term as they juggled staffing needs or tried to match operations to meet demand.
Conditions have improved in recent months although some banking locations remain shuttered.
The four major Southern Nevada bankers now are operating at close to full strength. All follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, such as requiring masks for customers and workers, installing Plexiglas and other barriers for teller situations, and enforcing social distancing and related measures. Some prefer to operate by appointments only while some allow walk-in transactions.
Here’s a rundown with their recommendations on the best way to determine branch availability:
Bank of America
Bank of America had nearly a dozen of its 40 branches closed in early July either out of an abundance of caution or staffing shortages as workers needed to care for family members.
“The situation has (been) and continues to be fluid,” said spokeswoman Britney Sheehan. “The most up-to-date information on hours of operation/status can be found on our website at bankofamerica.com.” Customers can enter their online ID and passcode and then find information about the nearest branch or schedule an appointment.
“We continue to take several steps to support our clients and employees during the health crisis, and as you have seen, this includes some temporary financial center closures,” Sheehan said. “Our temporary financial center closures have occurred in areas where we’re seeing fewer visits; where a smaller location may be close to a larger location that is better able to accommodate physical distancing; or when our staffing is not sufficient for all to remain open.”
Digital banking is perhaps the answer for most customers, Sheehan noted.
“The full range of our services on our website and mobile banking app are available 24/7,” Sheehan said. “When clients need in-person banking, the best thing to do is use our branch locator tool on our website, which offers the most up-to-date information on hours of operation (as well as the nearest ATMs).”
There also is a dedicated number (866-834-9286) for clients to call for information about locations open and the nearest ATMs.
Sheehan said a client or prospective client can handle nearly all transactions online, including opening accounts. One of the few exceptions is obtaining a cashier’s check, she said.
Three of Chase’s 39 Las Vegas branches are temporarily closed along with two out of 12 branches in the Henderson area.
The Chase branch locator at chase.com is the best way for customers to find their nearest open branch. The tool allows people to search by state, city, ZIP code and even specific addresses. There is a tool for scheduling a meeting with a banker where you can actually set a meeting and request a return call from a banker to confirm, said Chase spokesman Justin Page.
“We are constantly updating the website and mobile app with what’s open and closed,” Page said. “Managing branches is a constant situation. Hopefully, we’ll have all branches back open soon.”
Chase branches have switched nationwide to a 5 p.m. closure time instead of 6 p.m.
The customer service number is 800-935-9935.
Wells Fargo had some closures and adjusted hours at some locations during the early months of the pandemic, focusing on “keeping open branches that serve a higher volume of customers, are geographically dispersed and could be staffed safely,” spokesman Tony Timmons said in an email.
“We are continuously reassessing as the situation changes and may make adjustments where needed with the safety of our employees and customers as our top priority,” Timmons said.
Real-time branch status updates are available on the Wells Fargo branch locator. Clients can schedule an appointment at the same link or on their mobile phone.
“Today, about 15 percent of our branch network nationwide is temporarily closed,” Timmons said.
Nevada State Bank
All 32 Southern Nevada branches are open along with 14 others across the state, said spokesman Craig Kirkland, adding that all lobbies are open for walk-in customers.
The best way to find a branch and its availability, is to use the website nsbank.com. Click on the gold banner where it says “check branch hours” to open a PDF that lists all branches, phone numbers, hours and addresses. Or click on “schedule an appointment” and enter a ZIP code to find details on the nearest branch. The function is not available on the mobile app.
Kirkland said the bank encourages the use of their drive-up lanes and ATMs.