Local banking news recap 2019: The rise of Truist, Chase and Atlantic Union


Truist, Chase and Atlantic Union Bank made major moves in the Richmond banking market this year. (BizSense file photos)

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Virginia Commonwealth Bank will close its branch on Robious Road. The bank is in fact closing its location at 1118 Courthouse Road. The Robious branch will continue to operate. 

A few names grabbed the bulk of the headlines in local banking news this year.

SunTrust and BB&T’s merger leads to Truist having the second-largest deposit market share of any bank in the region.

The biggest among them was Truist, the resulting brand from the merger of Southeast regional giants BB&T and SunTrust.

While the new name was met with some criticism from armchair and professional branding experts, there’s no denying the eventual impact the merger will have on the Richmond market. The combined banks now have the second-largest deposit market share of any bank in the region. And it remains to be seen what other ripples will result, including how many of their 70-plus local branches might be trimmed down.

Chase Bank begins to push into Richmond

Chase Bank is looking to take over the former BB&T branch at the corner of Staples Mill and Parham roads. (BizSense file photo)

It’s not often that a true national bank sets up shop in Richmond for the first time. That made it all the more interesting to see Chase Bank begin to plot its entrance into the market. During the year, it scouted out two locations in Henrico, plus an ATM storefront in VCU, all of which are expected to open in the New Year. It’s unclear how big Chase might look to be in the region, though the marriage of BB&T and SunTrust might leave more of an opening.

The birth of Atlantic Union

Atlantic Union’s logo.

The year began with Union Bank & Trust closing its acquisition of Access National Bank and Middleburg Bank. The deal gave Union its first major presence in Northern Virginia. That, coupled with its increased presence in Hampton Roads and its appetite for growth, prompted the bank to rethink its brand. Atlantic Union Bank was born.

Expansions

In addition to Chase, other banks scouted out more space in the region throughout 2019.

South State Bank took more space for its Richmond HQ in James Center.

Bobby Cowgill, Richmond market president for South State Bank. (BizSense file photo)

Blackstone-based Citizens Bank and Trust opened its first full-service branch in Powhatan County.

Kilmarnock-based Chesapeake Bank’s slow but steady Richmond growth continued, as it added a location in Chesterfield County.

In a tease that has yet to come to fruition, Charlottesville-based Virginia National Bank hinted in the spring that it planned to open its first office in the Richmond market. But there’s been no sign of where the bank might land.

Contractions

Capital Bank’s Richmond branch on Broad Street at Reynold’s Crossing. (BizSense file photo)

Among the handful of local bank branches that closed this year, the most notable was Capital Bank, a division of Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank. Its closure of its lone Richmond outpost at Reynolds Crossing marked the $40 billion institution’s exit from the local market altogether.

SunTrust, ahead of the Truist deal, closed one of its downtown branches, while Bank of America announced plans to shutter its location at Stonebridge.

Both Village Bank and Virginia Commonwealth Bank picked locations to cut in Chesterfield. Village closed its branch at 1120 Huguenot Road. VCB said it will close its spot at 1118 Courthouse Road in early 2020 and will put the real estate up for sale.

Departures

Jeffrey Culver (left) and Tommy Bourque

A few local bank executives hit the road in 2019. Among them was Jeffrey Culver, who left his post as president of Henrico-based Sonabank, and Tommy Borque, who resigned as CEO of New Horizon Bank. Borque landed at Community Bankers Bank in Midlothian. No word as to where Culver went.

VACU

Virginia Credit Union was in growth mode this year, some of which caused controversy. It acquired Joyner Fine Properties during the summer and soon will absorb Chesterfield Federal Credit Union. But its plan to add a physicians group to its field of membership sparked quite the hubbub, as bankers from around the state protested. The matter will play out before the SCC early next year.

The Virginia Credit Union branch on Glenside Drive near West Broad Street. (BizSense file photo)

Growth at C&F

C&F Bank started 2019 with a change, as it welcomed in a CEO succession. Then, in the summer, it announced its first branch in downtown Richmond. It closes out the year in deal-making mode, as its acquisition of Peoples Community Bank on the Northern Neck is set to close as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

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