While talks of a recession take us into 2023, it was mostly business as usual for banks operating in the Richmond market in 2022.
Branch shuffling continued to be a trend, as some big national players pared back their location count, and others, including regional competitors, planted more flags.
The year began with longtime Northern Virginia-based Burke & Herbert Bank making its first-ever move into Richmond. It started with a small commercial team and has just secured its first retail branch. And it says it has more in store.
Hampton Roads-based TowneBank, which has been in Richmond for about a decade now, finally found a long-sought spot in Short Pump. It’s currently renovating a former BB&T branch in front of Short Pump Town Center.
National giant Chase Bank continued its multi-year plan to grow its branch count locally with the addition of several new outposts this year. It says it wants to have 12 branches here by 2024.
By way of Pittsburgh, the $42 billion First National Bank made a quiet entrance into Richmond, starting with a one-man commercial banking operation. FNB wouldn’t say much about its grand plans, but that it hopes Richmond will be a vehicle for growth here and into Charlottesville and Hampton Roads.
One of the busiest local financial institutions in town in 2022 wasn’t a bank, but a credit union. Virginia Credit Union carried out a swift expansion within the city limits by taking on new branches in Carytown, Scott’s Addition and the Arts District.
VACU’s branch growth came despite it losing a years-long legal skirmish with various Virginia banking groups, who successfully scuttled the credit union’s efforts to offer membership to the 10,000-member Medical Society of Virginia. VACU’s defeat in that case was handed down by the SCC.
Branch closures also were a trend in 2022, particularly among the big national banks doing business in and around Richmond.
Wells Fargo shuttered several of its local branches, as did Bank of America and Truist, the latter due to its ongoing transition from the marriage of BB&T and SunTrust. And at least some of those shuttered Truist branches were snatched up during the year.
Capital raising in the local banking sector has been quiet over the last few years, but saw some action in 2022. Prince George-based Touchstone Bank completed a $10 million capital raise, while Innsbrook-based bank advisory firm Strategic Risk Associates raised $12 million to help it push its risk assessment software to banks around the country.
The ups and downs of the housing market at the hands of interest rate increases threw the mortgage industry for a loop, particularly in the latter half of the year. That caused some noteworthy moves in Richmond, including an expansion by United Bank’s mortgage unit locally in the midst of a mass exodus in Northern Virginia. Primis Bank, apparently undeterred by rising rates, took the opportunity to launch its own in-house mortgage arm.