Another out-of-town bank thinks Richmond is ripe for the picking.
Bank of Lancaster, a $340 million bank headquartered in Kilmarnock, Va., this week began operations in Richmond and will look to set up two local offices this year, including a full-service branch.
It marks the first move for the 84-year-old bank into a larger metropolitan market, said president and chief executive Randal Greene, and is an attempt to capture business from Richmonders who know the bank’s brand from their escapes to the Northern Neck’s rivers.
“[Richmond] is a very vibrant market,” Greene said. “It’s adjacent to the Northern Neck, and many of our customers are Richmond residents and come to the Northern Neck on the weekends.”
The bank has been eyeing Richmond for some time, Greene said.
“We were just looking for the right time and the right person to lead it,” he said.
They found that person in F. Arnold Blackmon III, who until recently was with StellarOne Bank’s Richmond operations.
Blackmon, who is now Bank of Lancaster’s Richmond region president, will lead the bank’s charge in the market and will quickly look to establish its presence in commercial banking, residential mortgage lending and wealth management.
“We’re going to build a team of folks that know Richmond,” said Blackmon, who earlier in his career spent time at Bank of America and Wachovia. “There is banking talent in Richmond that I believe will be very attracted to the Bank of Lancaster model.”
Blackmon is the latest StellarOne alum to find a new home since that bank’s merger into Union First Market Bank.
In January, Park Sterling Bank, a $2 billion institution headquartered in Charlotte, opened an office in Richmond after recruiting five bankers from StellarOne.
Richmond has seen a rush in recent years of out-of-town banks in search of extra revenue.
One of Blackmon’s first orders of business is to ink a deal for some permanent office space. He said Bank of Lancaster is initially looking for real estate in the northwest quadrant of the region. It will eventually look to have a presence in the city.
It aims to have its first office open within 30 days and to open a full branch later in the year. Its staff should reach a half-dozen within 180 days, Blackmon said. It will then look to grow to a staff of 10 or 12.
Bank of Lancaster has eight branches across the Northern Neck market. It is a subsidiary of Bay Banks of Virginia.
It turned a profit of $1.3 million for 2013, up from $698,000 in 2012.
The bank last year announced the closing of a branch in Northumberland County. That followed a $9.35 million capital raise in early 2013.