Republic Bank branch closing


by BRIAN NADIG

Oak Brook-based Republic Bank is closing its branch at 5700 N. Central Ave., which was once was the home of the DiLeo’s restaurant and banquet facility.

The bank will close on Nov. 28, and its customers are being referred to Republic’s branches at 6400 W. Diversey Ave. and 2720 W. Devon Ave. in Chicago and at 4433 W. Touhy Ave. in Lincolnwood, according to a recent letter mailed to the bank’s customers. A tenant is being sought for the building.

DiLeo’s closed without notice in the mid-1990s, when a bridal party arrived only to find the restaurant out of business. Citizens Bank and Trust opened up on the site in 2000 following extensive renovations to the building.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s Division of Banking closed Citizens Bank in 2010, and Republic Bank agreed to purchase the bank and assume all of its deposits. The bank was closed for one day during the transition.

Two of the founders of Citizens Bank were Robert and George Michael of Michael Realty, and since the bank opened the men made headlines in the media, including an attempt by George Michael to avoid property taxes on his suburban home by claiming it was a church. Last year Robert Michael pleaded not guilty to federal bank fraud charges, and in 2012 George Michael was an FBI informant in an investigation into a plot to murder a businessman in a building in Edgebrook.

According to court documents, in 2010 an administrative judge recommended to the FDIC that the Michael brothers be barred from the banking industry.

At a meeting of the Indian Woods Community Association that was held in the bank lobby 2 years ago, several residents expressed concern about reported problems with Citizens Bank. Representatives of Republic Bank told residents that the brothers were no longer involved with the bank and that Republic took over the bank with the approval of banking regulators.


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