Answer by Randy Carey:
Why can't you designate an individual to accept loan applications at that branch and just forward them to the branch with the loan officer. There are tons of banks that have branches were they don't have resident loan officers (i.e., most grocery store branches for example) or have centralized underwriting. I'm not sure why you feel it necessary that you have to reduce services at that branch. You just need to think outside of the box. It is not going to look good from a CRA aspect.
Answer by Andy Zavoina:
I would see it as a possible CRA issue, but you will be more aware of the branch and customer base than I. Still, it will not help CRA.
Taking Randy's situation one step further, there could be a telephone that would go to a lender if you didn't want a staffer trained to take apps. And the branch wouldn't necessarily have to take all apps, commercial and RE could be referred to a branch more equipped to handle the disclosures. Borrowers wanting those loans want the best help they can get anyway as there are usually many questions to answer for them.