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Northwest Bank in McDonald is scheduled to close Dec. 18.

Northwest Bancshares Inc., the Warren, Pa.-based parent of Northwest Bank, confirmed Friday afternoon it is closing 42 full-service offices, a drive-through location and a business office. Those 42 comprise 20% of Northwest’s 205 branches across four states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Indiana.

All of the shutdowns are to occur the week of Dec. 13.

Only four branches targeted for closure are in the 10-county Pittsburgh metro area: McDonald (101 E. Lincoln Ave.), Bethel Park (6284 Library Road), McKees Rocks and Zelienople.

An employee at the McDonald branch declined to comment, referring the Observer-Reporter to the bank’s communications representative.

Ronald Seiffert, Northwest’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement: “Our customers’ banking preferences continue to evolve to favor a more digital banking experience, and the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified and accelerated these preferences.”

“This branch optimization plan reflects our ongoing efforts to ensure we are well positioned in our industry to provide the community bank experience that is valued by our customer base, while also enhancing our strong digital and mobile banking presence.”

Northwest is not the only bank that has announced plans during the pandemic to shutter branches. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., the Pittsburgh area’s largest bank, has said it may close more than 200 offices by the end of 2021. And First Commonwealth Financial Corp. is shuttering 29 branches by year’s end, including the one at Trinity Point Shopping Center in South Strabane Township.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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