An out-of-town bank that made a major push into Richmond less than two years ago is shutting down two of its local branches.
Bluefield, Va.-based First Community Bank will close locations in Mechanicsville and Chesterfield as part of a seven-branch consolidation beginning this month.
The branch at 5734 Hopkins Road near Meadowbrook Country Club in Chesterfield County will close Feb. 28, company spokesman Bob Buzzo said.
The Mechanicsville branch at 6109 Brashier Blvd., just off Mechanicsville Turnpike, is set for an April 4 closure.
“Periodically we review our branch network and determine which fit strategically, both from an economic standpoint and location standpoint,” Buzzo said. “We have pretty good coverage in Richmond, and, strategically, these two just didn’t fit.”
The $2.6 billion bank will have seven branches in the market after the two closures.
The Meadowbrook location came to First Community as part of its acquisition of the former Peoples Bank of Virginia in June 2012. First Community took over the 10-year-old bank and its four branches in a $40 million deal.
The Mechanicsville location was one of First Community’s three original Richmond branches.
Buzzo said the bank, owned by publicly-traded parent company First Community Bancshares, continues to see Richmond as an important piece of its business.
“We consider Richmond a primary market and love doing business there,” he said.
First Community controls about $279 million in local deposits, according to the most recent figures from the FDIC. That accounts for about 0.4 percent of the total deposits in the Richmond market.
The other five locations First Community plans to close are in North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Emporia, Va., Buzzo said.
Other banks in the area have carried out similar consolidations as part of cost-cutting measures. The banking industry as a whole has seen a shift in branch strategies due to the rise of online and mobile banking.
Union First Market Bank picked 13 Virginia branches that will close as a result of its recent acquisition of StellarOne Bank. Those closures include StellarOne branches at Patterson Avenue and Robious Road.
In 2012, Union closed eight branches in two rounds of consolidations.
As for the local real estate that will become available as a result of First Community’s move, Buzzo said that the bank owns the Mechanicsville branch and that it will put up for sale.
It leases the Hopkins Road space, which is part of the Meadowbrook Plaza Shopping Center.
Some employees of the affected branches will have a chance to stay on, Buzzo said.
“It will vary from location to location, but we always post any positions for any displaced people to bid on,” he said.
Customers of the branches have been notified of the pending closings.
First Community posted profits of $5.07 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $22.2 million for all of 2013. Its full-year earnings were down $5 million from 2012, according to its financial filings.