Small southern Ill. town set to lose only bank

Community reacts to decision to close Desoto bank

DE SOTO, Ill. (KFVS) - The city of De Soto, just north of Carbondale by 6 miles, is fighting to keep one of its businesses alive.

First-Mid Bank sits right off Route 51, but it will be closing its doors April 16.

Members of the community are upset with this decision.

De Soto Village President John Evans said the bank is like the heartbeat of the 1,600 residents.

“I think a lot of people here in town know what it’s going to mean if that bank pulls out, I mean, like I said, this bank has, this town has had a bank for over 100 years,” Evans said.

The first bank arrived in town in 1920, but times have changed in a hundred years.

In a statement, First-Mid Bank said:

“There has been a significant shift in consumer preference to online and mobile banking, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, and (THE BANK) found it necessary to adjust resources to meet those needs..

But Village President John Evans said the bank isn’t losing money and the lobby is closed due to COVID-19.

He also said online banking is difficult for many residents because the community has a larger elderly population.

“A lot of people in this community don’t have internet, and the internet is not the best here, or they are not computer savvy, and online banking is just very hard for them. They don’t want to mess with it,” he said.

First-Mid Bank said an ATM will stay in town, but a location has not been established.

The community has held meetings about the bank leaving, and they say they’re looking for options to replace it.

“We talked about, you know, some of the other banks, contacting them,” he said. “We’ve talked to some banks already and we have, there has been banks express interest.”

This is Evans message to the community.

“We’re fighting hard to keep this bank here. We would ask them to do the same. Help us, fight with us, let’s get a bank in here that’s going to serve this community, serve this town.”

First-Mid bank will be closing 10 of its 63 locations. All employees will be relocated to a nearby branch.

There are First-Mid bank locations in Carbondale, Carterville and Murphysboro.

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