63 administrative positions eliminated at Wilber National Bank following merger

OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Roughly 24 percent of the workforce of Otsego County's Wilber National Bank is being laid off following a merger with Community Bank.

President and CEO James Mack said that following the merger, 63 administrative positions will be eliminated due to overlapping responsibilities in the combined bank. All of those employees impacted by the move will be given continued pay and health care benefits based on the individual employee's length of service and the Wilber severance policy, Mack said. Those employees will also be given assistance in finding other employment as well as given preference when position within Community Bank become available.

The company notes that current customers to Wilber National Bank will see no changes to the faces that they see at their branch each day, as branch employees, trust and loan officers, Provantage account officer and all other customer facing employees will continue to be employed by Community Bank.

"This aspect of merging the banks is difficult for everyone involved," Mack said in a statement. "We have worked over the last several months to develop a plan to minimize the impact on employees, with appropriate severance arrangements, while also addressing the appropriate staffing level for the bank. All Wilber branches will remain open after the merger and no branch positions will be impacted by the workforce plans announced today."

According to Mack, employees from both banks have been planning for the conversion to the Community Bank operating system and training of personnel has already begun.

"Our goal is to have a seamless transition for our customers when we fully convert to the Community bank system on Monday, April 11," Mack said.

The company states that Community Bank has sent letters to all Wilber customers detailing both the changes and enhancements to their banking relationship.

"once the merger is completed, the combination of our two institutions, each with strong histories of local community and customer service, will result in continued benefits for our communities and our customers."

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