BB&T gives reasons for closing Courtland, Newsoms banks

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011

COURTLAND—A BB&T official on Friday explained why the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based financial institution is closing its banks in Courtland and Newsoms.

It was the first time BB&T commented publicly about closing the offices despite protests and rumors that have been circulating since August.

“For several years, BB&T has been reviewing the economic vitality of our branches in Southampton County and based on several factors, including client usage patterns, it was decided that we can best serve the area by investing in a new state-of- the-art banking center in Franklin,” said David White, vice president of corporate communications in Winston-Salem.

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.

“This will accommodate the clients of the entire surrounding area including Newsoms and Courtland,” White said. “As Franklin is a regional center for retail, business and other commerce in the area, we believe our clients will enjoy the many benefits offered at the new branch.”

Accounts and employees from Newsoms and Courtland will be transferred to the Franklin office. The closing of the Courtland office is set for Dec. 23. The Newsoms branch will close in January, White said.

After rumors began circulating in Newsoms about the closing of BB&T, residents got 300 signatures on a petition in hopes of stopping the closure.

“We know that any decision to close a branch location is an emotional issue for the local community and will undoubtedly cause inconvenience to some,” White said. “As such, we are sensitive to the impact of a branch closing and only after extensive analysis do we make the difficult decision to close.”

The Wakefield banking center will serve the northern sections of Southampton County and the Route 460 corridor and the Emporia banking center is positioned to serve the western parts of the county, White said.

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.