Dinkytown U.S. Bank branch expands

Research showed customers wanted more services to be offered on campus.

Kelly Gulbrandson

After 10 years, the Dinkytown U.S. Bank branch is getting a makeover.

The now-limited-service branch – which has one ATM – will be expanded to a full-service branch with ATMs, tellers and sit-down bank employees. If construction goes as planned, the bank could reopen in two weeks, Christine Hobrough, senior vice president and regional market manager for U.S. Bank, said.

The remodel is “long overdue,” she said and research conducted by the bank showed customers would prefer more services offered.

“Oftentimes a need or desire to talk face-to-face exists,” she said.

A full-service branch is defined as a bank that offers consumer and credit loans, financial services, and has multiple tellers with an ATM.

A limited-service branch, on the other hand, only offers services such as deposits and opening or closing a savings account. Sometimes a limited service will just have an ATM and computer to check online services.

The first step in the construction, which started in early February, consisted of exterior painting, moving the existing ATM from inside a booth to the outside and redoing the bank’s logo, Hobrough said.

The construction closed the branch and existing customers were told to use compatible ATMs in Stadium Village while interior work was done.

“We’re really excited to change how the branch operates,” she said.

U.S. Bank employs more than 9,000 employees and leads the state in small business loans. Unlike local competitors Wells Fargo and TCF, it doesn’t sponsor Gopher athletics.

Bryan Holt, spokesperson for Wells Fargo Bank, said while it does have full-service branches on college campuses in the region, there are none at the University.

He said he couldn’t comment on whether there were plans to bring another branch on campus, due to confidentiality and proprietary arraignments.

“A lot of research does go into planning regarding a new branch,” Holt said.

Today, banks are increasingly promoting online services, while the demand for full-service banks is decreasing, according to various reports.

There are 341 state bank companies that have full-service branches, down from 465 in 2003, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

However, that contradicts U.S. Bank’s research, Hobrough said.

Anthropology and English senior Celina Gurrola, a TCF bank customer, said she didn’t think full-service banks were necessary on campus.

Gurrola said she pays all her bills online or by phone. When she needs cash, she said she goes to an ATM, but not any bank specifically. Gurrola said she hadn’t heard of the U.S. Bank expansion and was puzzled about why they were doing it.

“Honestly, I don’t even go to banks anymore,” she said.