The Heritage Bank branches in Castle Rock and Kalama will be closing later this year, as the Olympia-based banking chain looks to improve efficiency. The announcement to close the branches in Castle Rock and Kalama was made yesterday, also with letters sent to the City of Castle Rock and the City of Kalama. Bank officials say that they were hoping to stimulate some growth in those branches after they were acquired in the purchase of Cowlitz Bank in 2010, but that just hasn’t happened. They also say that the number of deposits made at each branch just isn’t keeping them viable. This announcement has no effect on operations at the Heritage branches in Longview and Kelso; employees at each branch will be given an opportunity to apply for jobs at those branches, or they will be eligible for severance packages. Heritage management is also announcing that Liz Norberg, the Kalama branch manager, will assume the same post in Kelso. Marlene Johanson had been running both branches in Longview and Kelso, and will now just have the Longview branch to manage. It’s emphasized that Heritage is performing well financially, with strong quarter-to-quarter profits; this is simply a move to improve efficiency. A review is under way, to see what kind of “non-staffed” banking services can be provided in each town; the closures are scheduled to take place on November 15th.