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1st Mariner to close two branches

Baltimore-based 1st Mariner Bank will close branches in Arbutus and Easton, effective in January, leaving the bank with 16 branches. It started the year with 21.

A 90-day notice was sent to customers of the bank, said Dennis Finnegan, 1st Mariner’s executive vice president of retail banking.

The notice to customers followed a third quarter plagued by a $7.4 million loss, leading to a total loss of $11.2 million in the first three quarters of the year. Those losses were reported Friday.

The closing comes with the increased popularity of online banking services, said Finnegan.

“This is what’s going on throughout our industry,” he said. “The industry at large is all in the process of rightsizing our brick-and-mortar.”

The bank closed three branches this year, in Perry Hall, Odenton and Columbia. It closed the Lutherville/Timonium branch in 2012 and the downtown Baltimore and Shrewsbury, Pa., branches in 2010.

1st Mariner owns the branch in Easton, but leases the branch in Arbutus, according to the company’s annual report for fiscal 2012.