Trio of Banks announces the expansion of its branch network


Three US regional banks have confirmed the opening of new branches, essential for business lending and financial access in their local communities.

Based in South Carolina Woodforest National Bank expands its reach through a new branch in a Walmart in Florence, the 138th headquarters of the bank.

Meanwhile, in neighboring North Carolina, Oak Ridge Bank is to build a new branch in High Point. The location will be its fifth in the “Triad,” the region covering Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point.

Bank of Oak Ridge CEO and CFO Tom Wayne said: “We are excited to expand our customer base and expand our presence in the region, and we could not be more excited to serve this community in a more direct and meaningful way. “

Elsewhere, First federal savings and loan association also announced that it has reached an agreement with Sterling Bancorp to purchase its Bellevue, Washington bank office.

Sterling CEO Thomas O’Brien said his bank was unlikely to be successful “Appropriate scale” there, while First Fed was “Ideally suited to provide this platform”.

The expansion of these community banks defies the national trend of bank branch closures across the United States. According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the number of bank branches in the United States decreased by 5.1% between 2017 and 2020 to reach 81,586.

Before the pandemic, mobile and internet banking services were fast becoming a preferred method for millions of Americans to conduct many financial transactions.

The pandemic has overstated significant changes in the way people approach banking with consumers and financial institutions forced to adapt to a predominantly digital environment to meet their banking needs.

Some banks are closing their branches for banking services or finding ways to reallocate them to other uses.

Community banks have played a vital role in the coronavirus pandemic through their participation in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Their ability to attract small and medium-sized businesses – often overlooked by large financial institutions – has enabled them to increase their presence.

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