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Baker Boyer Milton-Freewater branch not reopening after flooding closure

03/15/2022

Milton-freewater branch

Milton-Freewater Closure Resources

Baker Boyer has been looking at ways to help the Oregon market, especially the Milton-Freewater region, grow its entrepreneurial base for many, many years. Whether it was through membership in the local Rotary to support the local school bond, the Downtown Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce, providing capital or any other of the many ways Baker Boyer has tried to assist the development of Oregon. During this time, it became clear that the commercial lending expertise our Oregon clients valued was being sought after in our Downtown Main Office. In addition, during the pandemic, the Milton-Freewater community, as well as all our other communities, have embraced digital and mobile banking. This digital transformation has diminished the need of in-person transactions and the brick-and-mortar infrastructure that it costs to provide it. It is precisely because the ways many of our Oregon clients prefer to interact with us has changed over the last decade that Baker Boyer has made the decision to not re-open the Milton-Freewater branch after flooding forced its closure two months ago.

Instead, Baker Boyer will redeploy the resources that would have been used to rebuild and staff the Milton-Freewater branch towards the Bank’s ultimate strategy to help all Walla Walla Valley’s citizens and entrepreneurs grow and prosper. This includes Milton-Freewater and the surrounding areas who will continue to be welcomed at all of our locations. The Bank also plans to continue supporting many of Milton-Freewater's important non-profits.

“We value our clients and the Milton-Freewater community and are dedicated to supporting them through this change,” said Josh Allington, Chief Banking Officer.

The last day the branch will be open to the public is June 17th, 2022, including the ATM and safe deposit boxes. The ATM will be open to the public until then and the lobby will continue to be closed except by appointment only. Clients with safe deposit boxes will be able to move their boxes to another location at no cost. As has been the case successfully for many years, Baker Boyer will keep servicing business lending and wealth management clients from their Main Street Walla Walla headquarters. There are no plans to close any other branches.

Employees who typically work at the Milton-Freewater location have been reassigned to help at other Baker Boyer locations. There will be no layoffs as a result of the branch not reopening.

Baker Boyer has been a leader in our communities for over 152 years successfully navigating through multiple recessions, the Depression, and now two pandemics. It continues to be a growing catalyst for the community, clients, and local businesses and looks forward to thriving for at least another 100 years.

Baker Boyer President and CEO Mark Kajita explained, “Although the closing of the Milton-Freewater Branch is the end of our “Brick and Mortar,” operations in Oregon, it in no way ends our commitment to help grow and nurture the Milton-Freewater community. It is just the next step to truly assist our Oregon clients as they evolve into the future. We believe this redeployment of our resources is the best way to assist all of our clients, including Oregonians, be the most successful.”

If you are a Baker Boyer client and have questions call (509) 525-2000. They have a dedicated team standing by to provide client support. For more information, please visit our Milton-Freewater Closure Resources page.