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Bank of Bird-in-Hand to open third branch

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Bank of Bird-in-Hand plans to expand its Paradise Township office and will begin accepting deposits as early as April.

Bank of Bird-in-Hand has been operating a limited purpose office at the site in Paradise Township. The office houses loan functions and deposit bookkeeping.

President and CEO Lori Maley said that the bank, based in Leacock Township, Lancaster County, plans to add approximately 1,500 square feet to the building to make it a traditional brick-and-mortar branch. Changes to the current building will include removing a reception desk to make room for a new teller area.

Maley said the bank decided to begin the $170,000 project after the only other competition in Paradise, a Wells Fargo branch, closed in August.

"There really are no branches of any bank in Paradise with that closing," Maley said. "We thought it was a good way to serve some of our existing customers in that area."

The branch, located at 3314 Lincoln Highway East, will be the bank's third since it was founded in 2013. Maley said the bank has chosen branch locations that make travel easier on the Amish and Plain populations that frequent Bank of Bird-in-Hand.

The bank's other two branches, both in Leacock Township, as well as the new Paradise Township location, are situated in a manner that allows customers to visit the bank without using major highways.

"The Amish customers can get to these locations through back roads," Maley said. "Some people would say 'You had the Bird-in-Hand location, why would you put the Intercourse office five miles away?' That was a very strategic location for us."

To operate the new branch, the bank expects to hire three employees. Maley said if the branch is successful, the hiring of additional deposit operations personnel is also an option.

Bird-in-Hand's mobile bank, which began services earlier this year, is housed in a shed outside the Paradise Township office and has acted as a "tuning fork" for the bank as it researches new branch possibilities, Maley said.

The mobile bank visits nine locations in the county for three hours each every week. Maley said that the new branch location will not change the bank's schedule.

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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