Atlantic Union beefing up office in Maryland

The bank’s Carytown branch. (BizSense file photo)

Richmond-based Atlantic Union Bank is digging a bit deeper into Maryland by expanding on a location it inherited via acquisition in 2018.

The $17.6 billion bank has applied for permission from the Federal Reserve to convert an existing commercial lending office in Columbia, Maryland, to something closer to a full-on branch.

It won’t have a drive-thru and it’s not intended for high-volume retail customers, but rather will cater to business customers around the Baltimore area.

The application to establish a branch, which still must be approved by the Fed, will allow the bank to accept deposits and loan payments.

John Asbury, Atlantic Union’s CEO, said the move to expand the capabilities of the Columbia office is a demonstration of its interest in that particular part of Maryland.

“We really like that team and we like that market,” Asbury said. “It underscores our satisfaction with the results of that market. We do view this longer term as an expansion market.”

Atlantic Union took on the office, at 7100 Columbia Gateway Drive, when it acquired Richmond peer Xenith Bank two years ago. Xenith’s business model catered to business customers and encouraged remote deposits, while keeping many of its branches in office buildings, rather than traditional standalone outposts.

Atlantic Union has 150 branches total, including two elsewhere in Maryland on the Eastern Shore. It also has a loan office in Hagerstown, northwest of Baltimore.

Its acquisition of Xenith and, more recently, its purchase of Access National Bank and Middleburg Bank, gave it its first sizable presence in the Northern Virginia market and some into Maryland.

As for potential further expansion in Maryland, Asbury said the bank isn’t likely to start setting up retail branches from scratch on its own in the near future.

“It would really take an acquisition of a bank that had more of a consumer retail presence there,” he said.

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