Richmond bank looks to Lynchburg

Essex is expanding into a full branch in Fairfax. (Courtesy Essex Bank)

Essex is expanding into a full branch in Fairfax. (Courtesy Essex Bank)

A local bank is on the move once again, with its steady stream of branch expansion this time taking it about two hours west of Richmond.

Henrico County-based Essex Bank has its eye on opening a new branch in Lynchburg, according to an application filed earlier this month with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The site Essex is pursuing is at 21437 Timberlake Road in a commercial district in Lynchburg, a few miles from Liberty University. The building is currently occupied by BB&T and sits within view of plenty of competition – Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Carter Bank & Trust all have branches in the vicinity.

The move isn’t yet a done deal for the $1.2 billion bank. Essex CEO Rex Smith said in an email the bank is interested in the site, but is still awaiting various approvals and inspections. That would include a green light from state and federal regulators.

Essex’s move on Lynchburg continues a trend of banks looking outside their home markets for new streams of revenue.

Richmond has seen an influx of out-of-town banks flock to the area in recent years, most recently with a bank from Abingdon looking to set up shop here for the first time.

Essex has kept a diligent pace of expansion in recent years, growing into dense areas in Maryland and Northern Virginia, and earlier this year opening in the more rural area of Cumberland County.

And it struck a deal this summer to build and own a branch in West Broad Marketplace, a 61-acre development anchored by Wegmans and Cabela’s. That would mark its first physical presence in Short Pump.

The Lynchburg and Short Pump locations would be the bank’s 24th and 25th outposts.

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