Bank closings in Courtland, Newsoms protested

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011

COURTLAND—The way Linda Vick sees it, the closing of BB&T bank in Newsoms is the beginning of the end for the town’s business district.

“Next will be the post office,” Vick told Southampton County supervisors during a Monday meeting in Courtland. “When these two close, we will not have anything.”

Berlin-Ivor District Supervisor Ronald West prompted the discussion after the county learned last week that BB&T would also be closing its Courtland office. Newsoms District Supervisor Walt Brown suggested the county close its accounts with BB&T, while West recommended calling WAVY TV 10 in Norfolk for a “10 on your Side” investigation.

In the end, supervisors asked County Administrator Mike Johnson to write a letter to BB&T asking to keep branches in Newsoms and Courtland open.

A customer of BB&T, the county was notified on Sept. 19 that the Courtland branch would be closing and accounts would be moved to the Franklin office at 201 N. College Ave. The closing is set for Dec. 23. A similar announcement was made last month regarding the Newsoms branch.

No one from BB&T corporate headquarters in Winston Salem, N.C., returned a phone call.

Vick said she delivered a petition with 300 signatures to the bank, asking that it remain open.

“Petitions are great, but if you make 300 phone calls to the president, that will be more effective,” Johnson said.

Robert Boyd, regional president for BB&T’s Hampton Roads office, can be reached in Norfolk at 823-7870.

BB&T in the spring consolidated its two Franklin branches by closing the downtown office and moving employees to a rebuilt branch on College Drive.

BB&T closed branches in Ivor and Holland in November 2008. Accounts and employees from those branches were transferred to BB&Ts in Wakefield and downtown Suffolk, respectively.

BB&T operates 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C.