Essex Bank trims branch count in river country

essex bank sign

Essex Bank is closing one of its Tappahannock branches. (Michael Schwartz)

A Henrico-based bank is moving out of one of its earliest legacy branches in Tappahannock, ending a 92-year run at that location.

Essex Bank is shutting down its outpost at 323 Prince St., which sits a couple blocks from the edge of the Rappahannock River in Tappahannock’s historic district.

CEO Rex Smith said the branch is being closed in favor of a newer Essex branch nearby at 1325 Tappahannock Blvd.

“It is one of (Essex’s) older branches, but the problem is it’s an old building,” Smith said of the Prince Street location. “It has no parking really, it has no drive-thru and we haven’t been able to figure out how to get an ATM in it.

“We have the big new office, which is literally one mile down the road. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep them that close together when one is that antiquated.”

The Prince Street site was first opened in 1926 by the original Bank of Essex, which merged a decade ago into the former TransCommunity Bank and then became part of Essex Bank’s current parent company, Community Bankers Trust.

The Tappahannock Boulevard branch was built in 2006 as the headquarters of Bank of Essex.

Rex Smith

Rex Smith

“We love Essex County,” Smith said. “It is one of our bigger bases and we’re fully committed to it.”

The Prince Street branch is expected to close in June, Smith said. He said the bank will look to sell the site.

The consolidation in river country comes as Essex expands elsewhere in the region and beyond.

It recently broke ground on a new location in the Wegman’s-anchored Stonehenge Village Shopping Center in Midlothian. That’s expected to open later this year.

It also recently opened its second branch in Lynchburg, an outlier market it first entered last year.

The $1.3 billion bank currently has 26 branches in operation.

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