Richmond’s biggest local bank is making moves near the mountains.
Union Bank & Trust has a plan in the works to close three of its branches in Winchester, Virginia, in favor of consolidating the locations into a new standalone property.
The bank is leasing a former SunTrust location at 1738 Amherst St., which it will renovate into a full service-branch. The three branches slated for closure are in-store locations inside Martin’s grocery stores around Winchester.
With 18 remaining Martin’s branches around the state, Union spokesman Bill Cimino said the company still likes that in-store format but wanted more of a visible presence in Winchester with a standalone site.
“When we looked at the Winchester market, we wanted to establish more of a branch presence,” Cimino said.
Cimino said Winchester is a competitive banking market, with big players like BB&T and Wells Fargo, as well as some of the state’s more aggressive community banks such as United Bank and Bank of Clarke County.
Once completed with the consolidation, Union will have two full branches in the Winchester market, along with a loan production office.
Union controlled about $65 million or 2.8 percent of the deposit market share in and around Winchester as of last June, according to the most recent figures available from the FDIC.
The bank will look to have the new branch open in the second quarter, at which time the three Martin’s branches will close. The move must still receive regulatory approval, which is typically a formality.
The consolidation will save the bank around $1 million in annual expenses, after spending a couple of hundred thousand dollars on getting the new branch ready, Cimino said.
It has hired American Commercial Interiors to handle the remodeling of the 2,800-square-foot SunTrust location. Superior Signs will change out the signage.
The bank also has two other branch closings in the works. A standalone location in Middleburg, Virginia, is planned to close in April due to underperformance and consolidation, Cimino said.
And its in-store branch at the Martin’s at 7324 Bell Creek Road in Mechanicsville is shutting down due the impending closure of the grocery store. The grocer announced last month that it would close three of its 23 Richmond-area stores.
Union will have 120 branches around the state after this latest round of shuffling. It has closed about two dozen branches in waves since its acquisition of StellarOne Bank. It closed seven branches last year and 13 the previous year.
Union’s parent company, Union Bankshares, reported its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings this week. Its net income for the fourth quarter was $17.8 million, up from $14.96 million in the same period of 2014. Its full year net income was $67.1 million, up from $52.16 million in 2014. Total assets reached $7.69 billion at year’s end, up from $7.35 billion at the end of 2014.