Pittsburgh-based banking giant makes its move into Richmond

Veteran local banker Wes York will be a one-man commercial banking operation in Richmond for Pittsburgh-based First National Bank. (Images courtesy of First National Bank and LinkedIn)

Another big bank wants a piece of the action in Richmond.

Pittsburgh-based First National Bank has made its initial move into the market.

The $42 billion bank launched here in recent weeks with a one-man commercial banking operation led by Wes York, a veteran local banker who most recently was with South State Bank.

The expansion is part of FNB’s growth plans for Virginia. In addition to the commercial efforts in Richmond, the bank said Northern Virginia is a focus to start.

“FNB expects to operate a total of at least 11 First National Bank offices serving northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by 2024 — adding to the seven it currently operates in the markets — and has filed applications with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to open branches in Reston and Arlington,” the bank said in a release.

The bank said it doesn’t yet have a formal office in Richmond, nor did it comment specifically on its plans to grow its retail operations locally.

“We expect to grow our team in the market and are evaluating our space needs and options,” a bank spokesperson said.

Prior to his time at South State Bank, York held various roles at SunTrust, Atlantic Union Bank and M&T Bank.

York earned his bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon College and a master’s degree from American University. He’s lived in Richmond since 2004.

On introducing a new bank brand to the already-competitive Richmond market, York said in an emailed statement: “I think there’s always room for one more bank in Richmond, especially if it is done with the right team, the right culture and can deliver what clients need.”

FNB said the Richmond outpost will help it reach into other nearby markets such as Charlottesville and Hampton Roads.

Beyond Virginia, the bank’s footprint includes Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina. It has 340 offices across those markets.

FNB is a different incarnation of the First National Bank that operated in Richmond in the 20th century and had been run out of the First National Bank tower downtown.

It’s the latest in a string of out-of-town banks to seek out the Richmond metro area for new territory. Earlier this year Northern Virginia-based Burke & Herbert Bank made its first move here, also starting with a commercial banking operation.

National player Chase Bank has been steadily growing its retail branch count in the area since entering the market a few years ago.

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Zirkle Blakey
Zirkle Blakey
7 days ago

Always room for one more, or so it seems!