Farmers Bank to meet with Newsoms residents

Published 10:44 am Monday, November 14, 2011

NEWSOMS—Representatives from Farmers Bank will meet with residents at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Newsoms Ruritan building to discuss the possibility of opening a branch in the community.

Right now, Newsoms’ only bank is BB&T, which plans to close the branch in January and move accounts to its Franklin office. The same is happening with BB&T in Courtland, which will close on Dec. 23. In addition, 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.

After the closing was announced, Newsoms residents Lynda Updike and Linda Vick met with Richard Holland, president of Farmers Bank.

“We told him we were not representing anyone, that no one knew we were there, but that we came to try to let him know that putting a branch in Newsoms would be mutually beneficial,” Updike said.

Holland did not make a commitment, but had representatives from his bank visit Newsoms.

“After they came, they apparently were impressed enough to set up this meeting for them to tell us what they have to offer and for us to tell them whether we would move our business to their bank if they come to the area,” Updike said.

Holland noted that BB&T probably would not sell its building for at least six months after closing the Newsoms branch to keep customers involved with BB&T in Franklin.

Farmers Bank has been around since 1919 and has offices in Suffolk, Smithfield and Windsor.

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.