By Kathy Canavan
Bank of America opened its fifth branch in Delaware in August, but it rescheduled its grand opening due to weather. Today, regional bank executives arrived for the official opening of the Limestone Financial Center at 2074 Limestone Road. Luckily, they put up a tent for the ceremonies.
The center features Bank of America's first automated live teller in Delaware "“ one who speaks English or Spanish. The ATM with Teller Assist has the standard ATM features, but it also offers a teleconference link that allows customers of any bank to speak to a teller from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
The ATM with Teller Assist also allows customers to deposit money in other people's account, to make Bank of America loan and credit card payments and to withdraw cash in their choice of denominations.
All the ATMs at the center offer Bank of America's newest phone tech, an app that allows customers to touch their phones to the ATM rather than pulling out their bank cards.
Chip Rossi, Bank of America's Delaware market president, said the bank now has nearly 7,000 employees in Delaware and its customers include one in three Delaware households. He said the bank has given $3 million to Delaware charitable organizations in 2015, and its employees volunteered 100,000 hours for nonprofits.
Patricia Beebe, CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware, with an oversized Bank of America check for $75,000 propped up against her lectern, told the crowd the bank is one organization she can count on. "I know you will do everything you say you will do, and you'll do it all very well," she said.
Beebe told the crowd that it is politically correct for companies to say they support the food bank, but she has been keeping track of the people who say they support the food bank and the people who actually do something to support it.
In addition to the bank's monetary donations, bank employees volunteered at the food bank for so many hours that they counted as the equivalent of three full-time employees.
"Bank of America has always been on that list of those who really do support us," she said. "I can count the people that really help us out as an organization on one hand, and Bank of America has one of my fingers."
She drew laughs when she added, "And, if you give me $10,000 a person, I'll tell you who the other fingers are."
Rossi suggested listeners go online to www.bankofamerica.com/give and donate to the food bank. He said the bank will match every $1 donation with a $2 one.