For the second time in a year, Richmond’s biggest bank is shedding some real estate.
Union First Market Bank last month closed four of its branches and also sold two pieces of property in the Fredericksburg area.
The branches that closed include two locations in Fairfax County, one in Williamsburg and one in the Northern Neck.
The bank officially shut the branches down Dec. 19, according to Union spokesman Bill Cimino.
The closures follow the shuttering of four other Union branches last May in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Port Royal and Mechanicsville, bringing the total to eight in 2012.
Cimino said the bank routinely analyzes the performance and growth potential of its branches and the markets they are in and compares them with nearby branches. These most recently closed branches are being consolidated into other Union branches in the same markets, Cimino said.
The $4 billion community bank, the largest headquartered in Richmond, has 90 branches across Virginia.
Shutting the four branches will save the company about $1 million in expenses over the next year, Cimino said.
Union also recently sold two pieces of real estate in the Fredericksburg area, according to reports from the Freelance-Star.
The first, a branch that was among the four closed in May, was sold last week to Atlantic Builders, a Fredericksburg construction company.
In the other transaction, Union sold a vacant piece of land in Northern Stafford County for $700,000. Cimino said the bank had foreclosed on the 2.6-acre property in the 1990s and had considered using it for a branch.
Of the four closings last month, Union owns the properties in Fairfax and Northumberland County. The bank will look to sell those properties, Cimino said. It leases the fourth branch in Williamsburg.
The 2012 consolidations follow a year of expansion for Union.
In May 2011, Union acquired a branch in Harrisonburg and the deposits and loans of the location from NewBridge Bank. That deal also included land in Waynesboro.
A month later, Union opened seven branches inside Martin’s grocery stores in the western part of Virginia.
It also in 2011 moved into its new downtown Richmond headquarters in Three James Center, vacating the Turning Basin building in Shockoe Bottom.