Bank shutters downtown branch

wells fargo

Wells Fargo closed its branch in the Wytestone Plaza building. (Michael Schwartz)

A national banking giant has slimmed down its presence in downtown Richmond.

Wells Fargo earlier this month shuttered and vacated its branch on the ground floor of the Wytestone Plaza building at 801 E. Main St.

Spokeswoman Kristy Marshall said the closure, which occurred May 17, is part of a periodic review of the bank’s retail branch network.

“As a result, we add branches in some markets and reduce them in others to make sure we have the right number to help us serve our customers,” Marshall said in an email, citing the proximity of other Wells Fargo branches.

The bank still has at least three locations in the vicinity, including one around the corner in James Center, along with outposts at 401 N. 11th St. and 122 E. Grace St.

Marshall said employees of the former branch have been reassigned to other locations.

Wells Fargo still has the largest retail presence of any bank in the Richmond region, with 62 locations in the market. Its nearest rival for local footprint is BB&T, which had 42 branches in the area at the FDIC’s last count on June 30, 2016.

Wells Fargo controls about $6.75 billion in deposits in the market.

WyteStone Plaza is owned by Fredericksburg-based developer W.J. Vakos & Co.

Chris Waller, who manages the space for Vakos, said the 4,200-square-foot location the intersection of North Eighth and East Main streets is on the market for lease.

Vakos also owns the adjoining Virginia Trust Co. building at 821 E. Main St., which went on the market last year after Middleburg Trust Co. vacated in favor of the suburbs.

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Bert Hapablap

Not a surprise. People are using branches less and less these days, especially the younger generations. It makes good business sense to trim physical locations.