KENSINGTON, Md. — Some of the members of the $319 million Lafayette Credit Union will lose their branch as the former candidate for conversion to a bank said it is closing a branch in Montgomery County, Md.

The credit union cited rising rent in the branch's location and falling member usage as reasons for the closing. The branch was scheduled to close on Mar. 23.

"The primary reason for closing the River Road Branch is that the building space lease came up for renewal at a prohibitively higher rent," wrote Juan Marulanda, chief operations officer for the credit union, on a notice on the credit union's Web site. "We also noted that while member visits to all our other Maryland branches increased, the visits to our River Road Branch had fallen off dramatically in the last few years. Given these hard facts, we had to take a serious look at the cost effectiveness of keeping a branch open with a significantly higher annual cost and such a low level of member activity."

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